Indian Railways steps up efforts to fight Coronavirus pandemic! In a novel idea to help in containing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has now prepared train coaches into quarantine facilities. According to a recent ANI tweet, Indian Railways has prepared prototype isolation coaches in trains, along with a nurse’s cabin as well as the patent cabins for keeping individuals in quarantine. In order to make the patient cabins, the middle berths in the train coaches have been removed from one side and all the three berths have been removed in front of the patient berth. The ladders for climbing up the berths have also been removed. The washrooms, aisle areas and other areas in the trains have also been modified to prepare the isolation coaches.
These isolation wards in train coaches will be prepared to quarantine those people who show symptoms of the infection or have travel history. It is also a major step to support the state governments to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Railway Board was earlier quoted in an IE report saying that the board was speaking to health experts for understanding the requirements of the arrangement. Also, in order to ensure that meals are provided to those who are kept in quarantine, the stock in the pantry car is being checked.
According to the design which was proposed for the quarantine facilities, an LHB train coach having nine lobbies, each with six berths, is likely to be utilized as one single unit to place an individual in quarantine. Similarly, in one coach, at least nine compartments will be prepared to place one person under isolation, who will be provided with medical supply as well as food, by the Railway authorities. The report stated that at least 10,000 isolation wards will be prepared using 20,000 train coaches. The national transporter has also started the movement of its rakes which were stuck due to the suspension of all passenger train services, in order to facilitate the idea. Starting from March 22, 2020, all Indian Railways passenger services including Mail/Express trains, local trains and other long distance trains have been stalled due to the COVID-19 lockdown.