With newer challenges confronting the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, nations are coming up with newer and more innovative solutions to never-seen-before problems.
One such fantastic example of innovation is that of the Indian Railways. The oldest railways network in Asia and the world’s fourth biggest railways network is converting its coaches into quarantine or isolation wards for patients suffering from COVID-19.
India is the second most populous nation in the world and has a fragile medical infrastructure. Fearing that the medical facilities might not be enough considering the increasing numbers of people testing positive for the virus, this solution has been implemented.
Work on these coaches has already begun, with space for paramedics already allotted in the coaches. Further, charging points for mobiles and laptops have been fitted. A foldable stool to keep the medical equipment will also be available.
In some coaches, insulated bamboo sheets have been put on the roof and the sides of the coach to reduce the temperature inside.
Around 20,000 coaches will be converted, which will have the ability to accommodate around 320,000 patients. Each cabin of a coach has been converted into an independent isolation ward, which will accommodate one patient.
The Minister for Railways in India, Piyush Goyal also tweeted about this initiative:
Preparing for COVID-19, Railways is ready to modify more than 20,000 coaches to accommodate 3.2 lakh beds for isolation 🛌
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 31, 2020
The Railways is also looking to hire more doctors and re-employ more retired medical professionals to help deal with this crisis.
The Indian Railways has already suspended its passenger, mail, and express train services till 14th April following the nationwide lockdown announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd March.
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