Indian Railways converts hospitals and coaches into isolation wards: All you need to know
As coronavirus has turned into a global pandemic, the Government of India is India is taking all the necessary precautions to combat the novel virus. Indian Railways is working hand-in-hand with the Indian Government in preparing its hospitals for COVID-19 hit patients.
Currently, Indian Railways has 125 hospitals across India out of which 70 hospitals are planned to be kept ready for COVID-19 hit patients in case of any contingency. The Indian Railways has prepared half of its hospital beds across India and one-third of these beds will have ventilators for COVID-19 patients. Approximately 6,500 hospital beds will be available for coronavirus patients. Out of these 6,500 hospital beds nearly 2,000 will be fitted with ventilators.
Additionally, Indian Railways is also planning to convert 20,000 coaches into isolation wards which will have approximately 3,20,000 beds for the coronavirus patients. Initially, Indian Railways is planning to modify 5,000 coaches for COVID-19 hit patients. These coaches will be equipped with all the basic medical facilities such as mosquito nets, charging points for mobiles, laptops, medical equipment, etc.
Indian Railways has already converted one of its prototypes into isolation ward and if it goes well, then 10 coaches every week will be converted for coronavirus hit patients.
Every non-AC coach has 9 compartments and 4 toilets. Out of these toilets, 2 will be converted into bathrooms. There will be separate cabins for medical staff and patients. Each compartment will be converted into a cubicle for one patient and one coach may have eight patients. However, if the situation degrades laters, then 2 patients per compartment will be accommodated.
The middle birth will be removed from one side and all three births in front of the patient will be removed along with the ladders for climbing up to prepare the isolation coaches. Each cabin will be isolated with ply and a plastic curtain.
Earlier, Indian Railways suspended all the passenger trains services till March 31 to contain the spread of the novel virus. Only the goods trains were operational to carry the supplies amidst the nationwide lockdown for 21 days, as announced by Prime Minister Modi. So far, coronavirus has infected 1,218 people in India and has claimed 32 lives.