Coronavirus Outbreak: Indian Railways converts non-AC train coach into isolation ward on trial basis

Indian Railways on Saturday announced that one of its prototypes has been converted into an isolation ward on a trial basis in view of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Asian News International March 28, 2020 20:02:37 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Indian Railways converts non-AC train coach into isolation ward on trial basis

New Delhi: Indian Railways on Saturday announced that one of its prototypes has been converted into an isolation ward on a trial basis in view of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

"On a trial basis, for now, we have converted only one prototype into an isolation ward. If this goes well then 10 coaches per week will be converted into an isolation ward in every Railways zone," said an Indian Railways official.

Informing further about the isolation coaches, the official said, "Each non-AC coach has 9 compartments and 4 toilets, of which 2 can be converted into bathrooms." Ten cabins will be available with six berths in each and there will be separate cabins for patients and medical staff, said the official.

"Each compartment can be converted into a cubicle for one patient when needed. However, one compartment will have to be used as 'nursing station' for healthcare personnel," said the official while adding "with minor changes, one coach can handle upto eight patients."

"To make the patient cabin, the middle berth has been removed from one side, all three berths in front of the patient berth have been removed, all ladders for climbing up the berths have been removed. The bathrooms, aisle areas and other areas have also been modified to prepare the isolation Coach," he added.

In these coaches, all except one berth have been removed in the patient cabin and each cabin has been isolated with ply and plastic curtain, said the official. The patient cabins will also have four bottle holders and coat hangers provided for holding medical equipment.

Meanwhile, in the Doctor, Nurse and Medico-cum-store Cabins the middle berth has been removed and coat hangers and trays have been provided to hold medicines, the Railways added. Besides, each compartment has been provided with 220 volt elect point for medical instruments.

In the worst-case scenario (later stages of pandemic), when capacities of the health facilities may get overwhelmed, two patients per compartment (i.e. 16 per coach) can be accommodated, said the Railways official.

"As many coaches as required can be converted into 'wards/hospitals'. If upto 20,000 coaches are used, around 3,20,000 beds can be made available in train-hospitals," the official added.

A total of 11,519 AC coaches and 34,017 non-AC coaches, excluding chair-cars, are part of the initiative. However, according to experts, the non-AC coaches are better suited (compared to AC coaches) to treat cases of coronavirus infections.

This comes on the backdrop of the Indian Railways' earlier announcement of suspending the running of all passenger trains till 31 March except for the operations of good trains carrying essential supplies amid the worst health crisis witnessed by the nation.

Updated Date:

also read

Allow emergency use of more COVID-19 vaccines, expand vaccination based on need: Sonia Gandhi urges PM
India

Allow emergency use of more COVID-19 vaccines, expand vaccination based on need: Sonia Gandhi urges PM

The Congress interim chief also called for exemption from Goods and Services Tax for all equipment, instruments, medicines being used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

A haunting silence pervades cafes, restaurants in Greece as the country's second lockdown continues for six months
long reads

A haunting silence pervades cafes, restaurants in Greece as the country's second lockdown continues for six months

Restaurants, bars and cafes, whose nature it is to gather groups of people closely together, have remained shut since November when the Greek government imposed a second lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections

Air India sale: Centre begins process of inviting financial bids; deal likely to conclude by September
Business

Air India sale: Centre begins process of inviting financial bids; deal likely to conclude by September

Last month, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said there is no choice but to either "privatise or close" the airline which has a debt of 60,074 crore