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Guwahati, March 31: The Northeast Frontier Railway on Tuesday said it will convert 315 coaches into isolation wards to supplement medical requirements for relating COVID-19 patients.
The converted coaches will be equipped with basic facilities needed for isolation as per medical guidelines, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said in a statement.
“NFR will be modifying 315 coaches for placement in various locations. If needed, more coaches can be modified,” he added.
These coaches are going to be equipped with mosquito nets, charging points for mobiles and laptop, space for paramedics among others, Chanda said.
“These coaches will be prepared zone-wise. Placement of the coaches will be notified by Railway Board in due course as per need. One Isolation coach will have nine beds, one bathroom and three toilets for use by patients,” he added.
The Indian Railways is planning to modify 5,000 passenger coaches in the first phase to meet the requirement of any possible exigency for keeping novel coronavirus patients in isolation.
There are 125 hospitals under Indian Railways across India and more than 70 of them are being planned to be kept ready for any COVID-19 related contingency.
“Efforts are being made to designate dedicated Covid wards or floors in these hospitals. Approximately 6,500 hospital beds are being made ready to meet the possible needs of patients,” Chanda informed.
The Indian Railways has already given permission to all zones to explore possibility of hiring doctors and paramedics, and also to re-employ retired railway doctors as a temporary measure to meet the increased requirement to manage COVID-19 pandemic. (PTI)