The Indian Railways apprehend an "enormous" rush to hospitals soon and have decided to hire the services of retired para-medical staff.
In a note to all General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units, the Railway Board on Saturday said "keeping in view the pandemic situation because of the outbreak of Coronavirus disease, it is apprehended that extra para-medical staff will be required for handling the enormous rush expected in few weeks."
The Railway Board authorities the General Managers/Chief Administrative Officers/Divisional Railway Managers to engage retired Para-Medical Staff up to the age of 65 years or to hire para-medical staff on Contract basis for a period of one month over and above the sanctioned strength depending upon the requirement. This would be a temporary measure.
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The railway management had earlier extended the scheme of hiring para-medical staff in Group-C category on contact basis for a period of six months beyond March 31, 2020 by not exceeding the sanctioned strength to manage COVID-19 .
The move of the Indian Railways comes amid apprehension that there could be a spike in the number of COVID19 cases since the incubation period of those who arrived from abroad, particularly high risk countries like the European Union, China, Thailand, Japan, United States and United Kingdom, ended this week.
The Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the country, has a wide network of multi-speciality hospitals in all its zonal headquarters, production units and divisional headquarters across the country catering to several lakhs of serving/retired employee and their family members.