As the country is witnessing an acute shortage of face masks and sanitisers amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Railways has produced a total of 2.87 lakh masks and 25,806 litres of sanitisers till April 1 to prevent the spread of the deadly infection, the Ministry of Railways said on Friday.
Since the nation stepped up its fight against the deadly pandemic, the Railways has been producing masks and sanitisers in-house in all its zonal railways, production units and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Masks and hand sanitisers are being made available to all staff coming to work and have also been given to contract labourers.
"Since freight operations of Indian Railways are running 24x7 to maintain essentials and goods supplies, operation and maintenance staff are working round the clock. To ensure their safety, masks and sanitisers are being provided. Soap, water and washing facilities are being provided at all workplaces," read an official statement.
"From March 24, 2020, to April 2, 2020, more than four lakh wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chain functions. Around 5000 isolation beds in Railway hospitals and 11000 quarantine beds across Railway establishments earmarked for COVID-19 patients," the Ministry of Railways said in another release.
Also, the railways have planned to convert 20,000 coaches into quarantine facilities to accommodate over 3.2 lakh novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients across the country. As part of the initiative, one railway coach has already been converted into a prototype quarantine facility as a trial for the concept.
“To make the patient cabin, the middle berth has been removed from one side, all three berths in front of the patient berth have been removed, all ladders for climbing up the berths have been removed. The bathrooms, aisle areas and other areas have also been modified to prepare the isolation coach,” an official said.
(With ANI inputs)