Indian Railway coaches turned into COVID-19 quarantine wards
Taking the fight against Coronavirus to the next level, the Indian government is transforming the oldest coaches of the railways into isolation wards in the wake of the pandemic outbreak. Indian railways is the fourth-biggest transportation network in the world spread across all states and union territories. As the number of Coronavirus cases continues to rise in the country, coaches are being converted into isolation wards by the Indian Railways in various states.
Work has already begun for the modification of over 20,000 coaches with adequate medical facilities. Each ‘quarantine coach’ will be fully-equipped with 16 beds, according to a statement released by the Indian Railways authorities. This will allow the railway coaches to isolate 3,20,000 patients when needed.
The plan is spread across 16 zones of the railways. In the East Central Railway zone, 261 coaches are being turned into isolation wards with quarantine facilities as part of the preparedness for the battle against the pandemic. 486 coaches of the South Central zone are being used for the purpose, followed by Central Railways in Mumbai with 482 coaches. As per the authorities, only non-AC sleeper coaches are being transformed into quarantine coaches for the patients.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Railways has pledged Rs 151 crores to the PM-CARES fund in a bid to fight the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.Not just train coaches, sports complexes and stadiums in various states are also being turned into quarantine centres for better medical treatment of the COVID-19 patients.
1.3 billion population of India has been put under a 21-day lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to curtail the transmission. The lockdown will continue till April 14, with all modes of transportation including flight (domestic/international), trains, metros and buses halted during the period. Citizens have been urged to stay at their homes and practice social distancing in an attempt to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the government is ensuring that the citizens have continued access to all essential commodities including groceries, banking, medical facilities, etc.
Doctors, nurses and medical staff along with police forces are working around the clock to ensure the safety and security of the citizens during the tiring time, as the number of positive cases of COVID-19 nears 3,000.