The pandemic COVID-19 sword is hanging perilously over India’s head and the nation is coming together in unprecedented ways to fight it off.
The effort is the culmination of ingenuous thinking and positive action – like the quick conversion of stadiums, trains and schools to care facilities.
In the hour of need, help poured in from various sources, with institutions and people stepping up and donating money, space and equipment to aid those in need.
The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, one of the oldest line of schools in India, offered its school buildings for setting up temporary isolation facilities for suspected coronavirus cases, on Friday.
“Keeping in view the alarming situation created by COVID-19 in the country, it has been decided that on a formal request from any defence authority or district administration, the schools shall allow use of classrooms of KV school buildings for temporary housing of suspected COVID-19 cases,” a KVS official told PTI.
On similar lines, the Indian railways too proposed a feasibility study to ascertain if it can modify non-air conditioned coaches and cabins as isolation wards to treat coronavirus patients.
“We are geared to be part of the efforts to fight coronavirus and we do have huge infrastructure with us to contribute for the effort. We have already produced sanitisers for our staff, we want to manufacture essential medical equipment and offering our coaches is another way of railways exploring the possibility to be part of the larger effort,” a senior official said.
Once the study infers a positive result, railway coaches and cabins could be used as hospitals on wheels with consultation rooms, medical store, ICU and pantry.
With the rail network spread across the country, the sources said these hospitals could be set up anywhere where clusters of such infected patients are found, providing last-mile connectivity.
The Railways also has a slew of Accident Relief Medical Equipment Vans (ARME) or rail ambulances that could be offered to the government.
Previously, industrialist Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, offered its resorts to be used as temporary care facilities for COVID-19 patients.
On March 22, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Board of Control for Cricket also chipped in declaring that they would be willing to turn all cricket and sports stadiums across the country into quarantine facilities.
West Bengal, Howrah’s multi-purpose indoor Dumurjala Stadium, Gachibowli stadium in Telangana, Sarusajai Stadium in Assam have already been converted into quarantine centres and camps.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 17 in the country on Friday and the number of positive coronavirus cases climbed to 724, according to the Union Health Ministry.