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Railways ready with plan to convert coaches into isolation wards

New Delhi 28.03.2020. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the Indian Railways to convert train coaches into isolation wards and ICUs to ensure healthcare access in remote areas in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the layout and design for the required modifications has been prepared.

The railways’ orders, accessed by ThePrint, state that a slew of modifications would be needed to convert rail coaches into isolation or ICU wards.

Some of the modifications that will be needed to turn the coaches into wards include removing the side partition next to the main door on each end, converting one Indian toilet on each side into a bathing room, removing middle berths, etc.

The way to convert toilets into bathing rooms would be “by placing wooden batten structure on the entire floor, which also covers the squatting pan”.

“A hand shower is to be provided and it is to be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dish also,” the orders state.

Among other modifications will be removing all ladders for climbing up to the middle and upper berths, using extra bottle holders for holding medical equipment, making functional all-charging points for laptops and mobiles, providing 230 V sockets in each cabin, and providing plastic curtains in each cabin to ensure isolation.

A senior official who did not wish to be named said that the orders will be notified by the Ministry of Railways Saturday.

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