Indian Railways to Convert Coaches into Isolation Wards for Coronavirus Patients
For the past few months, the entire world has been struggling with the novel coronavirus, which has infected millions of people and took thousands of lives. Every country has a few measures put in motion to curb the spread of the virus.
In India, over 1,350 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus, with 45 deaths. Although the number of cases is comparatively low than most of the countries, the high population and poor health facilities threaten a massive outbreak in India.
On March 28, railway minister Piyush Goyal said that ministry could convert train coaches into isolation wards for coronavirus patients. After a nationwide lockdown that began on March 25, Indian Railways has suspended train services across the country.
Railways will offer clean, sanitised, and hygienic surroundings for the patients to comfortably recover.
His team has prepared one isolation cabin prototype and if that gets approved, the ministry plans to transform 10 coaches into such wards every week.
🚆भारतीय रेल COVID-19 से लड़ने के राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर किये जा रहे प्रयासों में रेलवे कोचेस को सभी सुविधा युक्त आइसोलेशन वार्ड में बदल रहा है।
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 31, 2020
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Indian Railways is making all efforts to contribute extra to the health care efforts of the government. Which has expanded measures are passenger coaches to change as the private coach, to be equipped with devices to existing railway hospitals to meet the needs of COVID-19, to identify hospital beds to meet the emergency needs, additional doctors And recruitment of paramedics
The Railways plans to remove all upper and middle berths from coaches to ensure comfort as well as sufficient distancing between patients. The aisle and the bathroom areas have also been modified, including the ladders that are used to climb on the upper berths.
The Railways’ workshops responsible for maintaining its fleet have also come forward to fulfill the requirement of beds and other kinds of furniture for the isolation wards.
Indian Railways is planning to replace 5,000 passenger coaches to meet the need for any possible crisis, in case the coronavirus cases escalate. These coaches will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure for isolation wards as per medical guidelines. More coaches can be modified if need be. The coaches have charging points for mobiles and laptops and will feature space for paramedics etc. These coaches will be prepared zone-wise.
There are 125 railway hospitals in India and more than 70 are being planned to be kept ready for any contingency situation when needed. Efforts are being made to designate dedicated COVID-19 wards or floors in these hospitals. Around 6,500 hospital beds are being designed to meet the potential needs of the patients.