Coronavirus outbreak: Western Railway prepares Mumbai's first isolation rail coach to fight COVID-19
As part of COVID-19 preparedness, the Indian Railways has decided to modify 20,000 coaches into isolation wards and Western Railway has targeted to convert 460 coaches into quarantine wards
The Western Railway has prepared Mumbai's first isolation rail coach at its Lower Parel workshop as per the guidelines of the Railway Board. The Western Railway has targeted to undertake a total 460 coaches and the coaches selected are non AC sleeper and general second class coaches. Out of these 460 coaches, 170 will be undertaken by the Mumbai division.
As part of COVID-19 preparedness, the Indian Railways has decided to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine/ isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created across the country. These modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate upto 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. In the first phase work on modification of 5,000 coaches has been undertaken; which are to be converted into quarantine/ isolation coaches. These 5000 coaches would have a capacity to accommodate upto 80,000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation.
An Indian style toilet will be converted into a bathing room for the COVID-19 patients
Western Railway has also decided to convert the existing coaches to Isolation ward. Western Railway is targeting to undertake 460 coaches within a week as decided by Ministry of Railways to support our medical team.
According to Ravinder Bhakar, Chief Public Relations Officer of the Western Railway, "The Western Railway has targeted to undertake total 460 coaches and the coaches selected are non AC sleeper and general second class coaches. Out of these 460 coaches, 170 will be undertaken by Mumbai division, while 45 by Vadodara, 75 by Ratlam, 70 by Ahmedabad, 20 by Rajkot and 80 by Bhavnagar division. In this mission, the entire zone i.e. all workshops and coaches in the depots are working on it. There many constraints for getting the material from open market as markets are closed and people are not coming out to deliver due to lock down. Railway is putting best efforts to complete the coaches on top priority so that there is no scarcity of isolation centers/beds. The first prototype prepared as per the guidelines by Railway Board is ready at Bhavnagar Workshop. Both middle berths are removed in each cabin. Extra bottle holders shall be provided in each cabin for holding medical equipment, two for each berth."
The proposed 20,000 coaches will be able to accommodate upto 3.2 lakh possible beds for isloation services
"Extra 3 peg coat hooks, 2 per cabin to be provided. Mosquito net to be provided on windows to avoid mosquito entry inside and have proper ventilation too. Each cabin will be provided with three dustbins with foot operated lids of Red, Blue and Yellow Colour suitably lined with garbage bags," Bhakar added
One Indian style toilet will be converted into a bathing room. It will be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins. Similar taps to be provided at proper height so that bucket can be filled. The first cabin near the bathing room shall be provided with two hospital/ plastic curtains transversely in the aisle so that the entry and exit to the entire eight berth cabins can be screened off.
The rail isolation coach will also have store room for medicos
This cabin will be used as store/paramedics area. Two Oxygen cylinders will also be provided by the Medical department for which suitable clamping arrangement on the side berth side of this cabin is to be provided. For insulation of the coaches, Bamboo/Khus mats shall be affixed/ pasted on roof and each side of coach above and below windows to shield effect of heat inside coach. All charging points for laptop and mobile will be functional and all such amenity fittings whenever the coaches are requisitioned.
Here's a look at few main features of the coaches:
- One lavatory is converted to bath room equipped with bathing facilities
- Provision of water taps that can be operated by elbow
- Provision of foot operated dust bins
- Plastic curtains
- Additional hanging arrangements for the use of medical equipment
- Mosquito nets on windows
- Store room for medicos
- Holding arrangements of oxygen cylinders
- Middle berths are removed from sleeper coaches to accommodate patients.
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