Each cabin of a coach has been converted into an independent isolation. (Photo Credit: IANS)
With the number of COVID-19 positive cases on the rise, the Indian Railways has started converting non-AC train coaches and cabins into isolation wards to deal with the rush of coronavirus patients, a railway official said on Saturday. “Out of the 17 railway zones in India, the Railway Board has asked Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and the Northearn Railway to modify train coaches into isolation wards on an experimental basis to deal with patients of novel coronavirus,” the NFR Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda told IANS.
According to Chanda, this move will prepare the government to meet any emergency. “To start with, the NFR is converting coaches at the coach maintenance depot in Kamakhya and Guwahati into isolation wards after consulting medical professionals of the railways,” the CPRO said.
“Each cabin of a coach has been converted into an independent isolation ward which will accommodate one patient. There are nine such cabins in one coach. One of the four toilets of the coach has been converted into a bathroom with facility for shower,” the NFR official said.
The Indian Railways, which runs 13,523 trains daily, has suspended all passenger services till April 14 and its rakes are lying idle.
Sources said the proposal to offer the empty coaches and cabins to be used as ICUs was discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal with Railway Board chairman V K Yadav, general managers of all zones and divisional railway managers over videoconferencing on Wednesday.
According to the 2011 Census, the World Health Organisation estimated that India had only 0.7 beds per 1,000 people.
With Agency Inputs