With the continuing spread of the virus taking over the country every day, Postal and Railway service under the Government of India has adapted its services to fit the need of the hour. The Indian Postal service which is not in much use has been providing help by delivering test kits and medicines whereas the Indian Railways are being modified into isolation and quarantine coaches when we are in dire need.
The help of our trusted Postmen-#coronawarriors
Over the past few years, the postal services have seemed to decline within the country. With emails and faster-delivering companies taking over, the postal has lost its significance. However, the virus outbreak has led to the post offices working at its hardest.
On March 18, the post office received a request to transport, a COVID-19 automated testing machine that was stranded in Chennai which was supposed to reach at Pune hospital. It was able to deliver the machine after its team up with the Blue dart service providers that have their own cargo aircraft.
Since then, the postal service has been delivering COVID-19 test kits to designated hospitals all over the country; taking hygiene and safety measuring before pickup and delivery; they are doing the needful.
Postal ladies are spending their time making masks to ensure that they reach the rural areas where many are unable to make or buy it. The postal service has also been delivering medicines and other essentials to people who otherwise do not access to go themselves.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law & Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Minister of India has tweeted praising the India postal service providers, for their efficiency and capability to reach even the most rustic of places and offer postal services be it money transactional or delivery of medicines to those in need.
The India Post office on its official twitter handle has said: “It is requested to mention the complete address and contact details, if possible, while tweeting enquiries about booking & delivery of medicines or other essential items or any other service so that we serve you even better.”
The employees of India post have put themselves on the frontlines and have also helped in taking money to the pensioners, unable to receive it on their own. As its motto says ‘Touching lives in many ways’, the postal service has definitely become a much-needed avenue in fighting the coronavirus.
Modifying the Indian Railways
It is no secret that the Indian railway system is one of the biggest and most complex in the world. Since its start on April 16, 1853, nearly 167 years ago the Indian railways have not stopped its service. The virus has achieved what the world wars, bomb attacks and strike have tried to accomplish a complete shutdown of the service.
The railway services were suspended on March 22, even before the announcement of the lockdown to prevent overcrowding and maintain social distance during the coronavirus scare.
Here is how the railways are making the most of its resources to help with the outbreak:
- The Central and Western railways have removed the curtains in the AC compartments, and the trains have been going through an intense cleaning both inside and outside its coaches.
- The initial plan was to transform 5,000 passenger coaches into the isolation wards, but since the need has increased, they are working to turn around 15,000 coaches into the same. These coaches would be equipped with basic facilities needed for isolation as per medical guidelines.
- The modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. The coaches are being prepared according to the five zones we have in the country (North, South, East, West and Central)
- The coaches will also be fully equipped with mosquito nets, charging sockets for both mobile and laptops and providing adequate space for paramedics and other medical professionals.
It is also making efforts to supplement the health care efforts of the Government by equipping the existing Railway Hospitals to meet the COVID-19 needs, designating hospital bed to meet the emergencies, recruitment of additional doctors and paramedics. The Zonal Railway Workshops and field units of Indian Railways have geared up to manufacture PPE coveralls with a target of over 30,000 coveralls (PPEs) in April and 1,00,000 in May 2020.
There are also around 125 railway hospitals across the country, out of which 70 have been kept for any emergencies. The hospitals can accommodate around 6,500 beds, and efforts are being made to allot COVID-19 wards.
The Zonal heads were also given the go-ahead by the Indian Railways to hire doctors and paramedics to fit the need. They are also looking to re-employ any retired railway doctors and medical professionals as a temporary measure to meet the need of the hour.
Both the post and railway services along with their employees have not only become one among the frontline institutions to fight the battle against the virus but have also adapted their services best to fit the needs of the people during the outbreak. The services have shown their significance in working hand-to-hand in providing hope and care in our dire situation.