Indian Railway coaches to be turned into isolation wards: Indian Railways is contemplating to convert its coaches and cabins in isolation wards in view of the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

North Central Railway (NCR) General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary, said that the Railways are trying to convert a coach at the coaching depot in New Delhi into isolation wards after consulting medical professionals.

“A sleeper coach of a train is being converted and improvised into isolation wards for patients suffering from Covid-19. Such a plan can help us be well-prepared to meet any emergency,” he also added(North Central Railway, General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary,).

Besides this, all Railway divisions are engaged to follow the move and have identified a ward or building for setting up isolation beds for Covid-19 patients.

Also, the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of NCR(North Central Railway), Ajeet Kumar Singh said, “NCR has taken necessary steps to ensure operational safety to mitigate any possibility of disruption in goods trains.”In big yards, where maintenance requires concentration of staff, speed of goods trains has been reduced to 15 kmph to sustain required operation and maintenance with social distancing, he informed.

In addition to this, the North Indian Railway is considering an extension of the mandatory Paramedical Medical Examination (PME) of safety category and running staff to boost its medical facilities.

It is also imparting training to its paramedical staff on for Covid-19 related procedures, especially ventilators. Videos posted on the ministry of health and family welfare’s website are being used to train staff,” General Manager(NCR) Rajiv Chaudhry stated.

Meanwhile, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is working out a plan to serve meals in different parts of the country and hospitals, if the need arises.

According to sources, the proposal to offer the empty coaches and cabins to be used as isolation wards were discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal with Chairman Railway Board V.K Yadav, General Managers of all zones and Divisional Railway Managers over video conferencing on Wednesday(25/03/2020).

The idea was discussed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday nudged all the ministers to think out of the box to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

These coaches can be sent to those parts of the country which has seen

As per the WHO(World Health Organization) estimates, India has only 0.7 beds per 1,000 people. While it has targeted to increase this to two beds, WHO mandates for at least 3 beds per 1,000 people in every country.
The Indian Railways runs 13,523 trains daily and has now suspended all passenger services till April 14 in view of the country-wide lockdown.