The plying of passenger trains of by Indian Railways was stopped due to the nationwide lockdown, but they are still coming out as a major support in the health crisis. As many as 2500 coaches have been converted into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients which have the capacity to hold at least 40,000 beds, the Railways Ministry told on Monday.
“In times of lockdown, when manpower resources are limited and have to be rationalised and rotated, different zones of Railways have almost done an impossible task of so many conversions in such a small span of time,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, on an average 375 coaches are being converted into isolation wards in a day and the work in this direction is being carried out at 133 locations in the country.
Non-AC coaches have undergone number of modification and each such coach can house 10 patients in separate bays. These coaches are equipped as per medical advisories issued, the ministry said.
Indian Railways has put all its might and resources behind national efforts against Covid-19
It has achieved almost half the initial task of conversion of 5000 coaches into isolation ward. 2500 coaches are successfully converted.#IndiaFightsCoronahttps://t.co/zy6OpgUeac pic.twitter.com/Z9hhtXirue
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) April 6, 2020
Efforts are underway to avoid inconvenience to patients and best medical supervision as per the needs and norms, it added.
As reported by Indian Express, two of four toilets in each coach have been converted into bathrooms. In the cabins, the middle berth on one side has been removed while the lower berth will act as the patient bed.
There are cabins for the doctors as well as medical staffs as well.
Apart from the stationed trains, the non-passenger trains of Indian Railways are also participating actively in the battle against the deadly coronavirus.
In a press conference on Monday, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry told, “In the last 13 days, Indian Railways transported sugar through 1340 wagons, salt through 958 wagons and edible oil through 316 wagons/tanks, to different parts of the country, amid coronavirus lockdown.”
All the passenger trains were called to halt since March 22, the day of unofficial lockdown, and the halt extended after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day complete lockdown in the nation.