Indian Railways To Turn Coaches Into Isolation Wards For Coronavirus Patients
The Indian Railways will provide its coaches and cabins as isolation wards for coronavirus cases. The Railways, which runs 13,523 trains daily, has suspended all passenger services till April 14.
The proposal for this initiative was made in a meeting of Railway Minister with Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav, General Managers of all zones and Divisional Railway Managers over video conferencing on March 25, Wednesday.
The discussion involved how railways' production units could be used to manufacture essential commodities to fight the contagion, like ventilators, beds, trolleys. The use of railway coaches, which are equipped with toilets, as isolation wards was also discussed in the meeting.
According to The New Indian Express report, this initiative was proposed after PM Modi asked his cabinet to look for innovative ways to boost its medical facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO estimated that India had only 0.7 beds per 1,000 people, as per the 2011 census. India has targeted this to increase this to two beds, WHO has demanded that at least three beds be there per 1,000 people in the country.
According to sources, these coaches and cabins could be used as hospitals on wheels, equipped with consultation rooms, medical stores, ICU and pantry. These hospitals could be set up anywhere in the country, where there are patients but adequate facilities are not available. Railways' production units could be put into action to ready the coaches.