GUWAHATI, May 12 - With the entire country under the grip of the lockdown for over one-and-a-half months, the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is giving additional importance to transportation and supply of essential medical and healthcare items and equipment to various states of the region.
�The Railways has played a significant role in providing its services for transportation of essential life saving drugs and medical equipment. There have been some really special cases. For example, there was a case last month when the blood sample of a patient was transported from Dibrugarh to Guwahati so that his doctor could decide on further treatment based on the blood report given by a Guwahati-based NABH-accredited laboratory,� a senior NFR official told The Assam Tribune.
He added that the zonal railway has been able to transport more than 750 tonnes of medical and healthcare materials, including sanitizers, masks, medicines, blood sample bags, besides medical goods.
�We are making all efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities and medical equipment in this region during this crucial time. We have operated a few COVID-19 parcel special trains in some sections including Guwahati-Agartala-Guwahati, Guwahati-Dibrugarh-Guwahati, Guwahati-Mendipathar-Guwahati, Guwahati-Howrah-Guwahati and Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri-Guwahati in recent days. Medical and healthcare items and equipment have been sent from Guwahati to other places through this service,� said the NFR official.
He added, �In-bound parcel express trains from other parts of the country are bringing such items, including medicines, masks, personal protection equipment (PPE), sanitizers for both hospital use and personal use, and baby foods,� said the official.
Medical equipment and other health sector products have been mostly sourced from states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
�We have been using the parcel special trains to transport medicines and other medical items and equipment. Unlike regular freight trains, the parcel service operates on a fixed timetable and the items can also be shipped in smaller quantities. Thus, unloading and transportation become easier for the parties which purchase the commodities,� the official said.
NFR has transported such items for both institutional buyers as well as private traders dealing in medical and healthcare items and equipment.