Indian Railways
Representative image. Image credit - Business Today

The Indian Railways is planning to offer its cabins and coaches as isolation wards for patients found positive for coronavirus.

As per reports, the proposal to offer the empty coaches and cabins to be used as ICU’s for such patients was discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister with Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav, General Managers of all zones and Divisional Railway Managers over video conferencing on Wednesday.

The idea has sprung up after Prime Minister NarendraModi asked the Cabinet to find innovative ways of boosting medical facilities due to the massive outbreak of COVID-19.

The coaches and cabins of the trains are planned to be used as hospitals on wheels with consultation rooms, medical store, ICU and pantry.

Moreover, the Railways is also contemplating to make good use of its Accident Relief Medical Equipment Vans (ARME) or rail ambulances in order to treat persons infected with COVID-19.

To cater the growing need of essential medical items in the wake of coronavirus epidemic, the Indian Railways has decided to manufacture hospital beds, stretchers, IV stands and ventilators.

“In the wake of pandemic Covid-19, the railway, in consultation with production units and zonal railway workshops, has decided to use its facilities, like Chittaranjan Loco Works, Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi, and Rail Wheel Factory, Yelehanka, to manufacture these essential items” to help combat the pandemic, the Indian Railways said in a statement, on Tuesday.

In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Railways on Wednesday has decided to cancel its passenger train services till April 14, 2020.

“In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19, Ministry of Railways has decided to extend the cancellation of passenger train services on Indian Railways, i.e. all Mail/Express trains (including premium trains), passenger trains, suburban trains and trains of Metro Railway, Kolkata shall be extended till 2400 hrs of April14, 2020,” it added.

“However, freight train operations are being continued to ensure the supply essential commodities,” it further stated.

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