Indian Railways to create COVID-19 test centres! In another initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways has allocated a sum of Rs 300 crore for creating its own COVID-19 test centres, according to an IE report.
Thousands of Indian Railways officials and staff are currently engaged, working on the frontlines, to maintain the delivery of the essential services and related activities, even in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. The national transporter has decided to create its own testing mechanism, in view of the fact that almost 50 per cent of its own hospital beds have now been dedicated for COVID-19 patients. For preparing the COVID-19 test centres, it has recognized a sum of Rs 300 crore for funding it, the report said.
Indian Railways has around 13 lakh employees and also, an equal number pensioners along with their families, who are presently the direct beneficiaries of the Indian Railways health services. According to the report, two railway employees from West Bengal, have succumbed to the corona virus infection, while one female doctor from the state of Tamil Nadu, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The country is facing a shortage of the diagnostic kits, which are the RT Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) kits. Several foreign companies have specified a high global demand for the PCR kits. Meanwhile, only two Indian firms have till now, been validated by the government lab in Pune for producing the COVID-19 testing kits.
Considering this situation, the Railway Board has instructed all the zones to look into the funds available, for exploring ways to procure the PCR testing kits for dealing with COVID-19.