Western Railway on Friday said that it will convert around 410 train coaches to facilitate the isolation of suspected coronavirus patients at all its six divisions, including the Mumbai division.
Work of converting coaches into #COVIDー19 Isolation Wards is in progress in all 6 Divisions of Western Railway which is going to convert 410 coaches to fight #corona . Here's a coach being prepared in Kankaria Depot, Ahmedabad. @RailMinIndia @PiyushGoyalOffc #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/UVpsBZsLy3— Western Railway (@WesternRly) April 3, 2020
Ministry of Railway, in March, had announced that the coaches will be used as quarantine facilities in order to make up for the shortage of hospital beds. The Railways had suspended all passenger operations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "A coach has been converted for isolation of possibly infected COVID-19 patients by Bhavnagar workshop of Western Railway. 410 coaches will be converted by Western Railway at all its 6 Divisions including Mumbai Division," officials said.
A report stated that the trains would be transformed into holding centres for patients and paramedical staff who will be treating them.
The Southern western railway will be converting 312 coaches into isolation wards as per prototype issues by the Railway board. The South Western Railway in a press statement further clarified that each coach would provide an eight-berth cabin for isolation facility and will be equipped with basic facilities needed as per medical guidelines, adding that provision for charging points of mobiles and laptops and mosquito nets with space for paramedics will also be looked into.
In terms of facilities, the railways had said: "Only Non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being planned to be utilised 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. A similar tap to be provided at the proper height so that the bucket can be filled."