Bhubaneswar: In an effort to provide more quarantine facilities for the treatment of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has begun the work to covert 261 coaches into isolation wards.
Out of the 261 coaches, 46 coaches are being converted into the isolation wards at the Coaching Depot in Bhubaneswar. Out of the 261 coaches, 46 coaches are being converted into the isolation wards at the Coaching Depot in Bhubaneswar. Efforts are on to convert 46 coaches and keep them at three platforms of Bhubaneswar railway station by April 10, ECoR sources said.
Notably, a decision to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine/isolation coaches was taken by the Indian Railways after a meeting between the Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical department of various Zonal Railways and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on March 31.
Acting on the decision taken at the meeting, five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/isolation coaches.
Only Non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being planned to be utilized for conversion into Quarantine/ isolation coaches. One Indian style toilet is to be converted into a bathing room. It is to be equipped with a bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins. Besides, a similar tap inside the toilet will be put up at a proper height so that bucket can be filled.
These 20000 modified coaches will have the capacity to accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs.
Meanwhile, work on the modification of 5000 coaches to be converted initially into quarantine/isolation coaches has already started to accommodate up to 80000 beds (with one coach having 16 beds for isolation).