PATNA: The East Central Railway (ECR) has completed the conversion of 269 sleeper class train coaches into isolation wards to treat COVID-19 patients in no time.
Indian Railways had decided to convert passenger coaches into quarantine or isolation coaches for the emergency purpose to support the Union Health Ministry in the fight against COVID-19.
Chief spokesperson of ECR, Rajesh Kumar, told The New Indian Express on Saturday that the Railway Board has entrusted the task of converting 269 passenger coaches into isolation wards by April 10.
ECR has five divisions under its command at Dhanbad (Jharkhand)Sonapur, Samastipur, Danapur (Bihar) and the Pundit Deendayal Upadhayay division at Mughal sarai (UP).
Kumar said that '269 coaches with, all medical equipment and facilities mandatory for a quarantine ward. have been made in each railway coach designated for isolation.
'In total, 16 berths have been made available in each coach for COVID-19 patients. This way, a total of 4304 berths have been provided for patients infected or suspected with coronavirus', he said.
Moreover, he said that a train, comprising of 20 coaches will have 17 isolation coaches, one air-conditioned coach and two SLR coaches for doctors and other personnel.
'These coaches will be used by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare or Union Ministry of Home Affairs or under their guidance,' he said, adding that all divisions of East Central Railway were given the task of converting train coaches into isolation wards.
Detailing about how the target was achieved in record time, Kumar said that 38 coaches were converted as isolation coaches by Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar division, 40 by Dhanbad division, 55 by Danapur division, 40 by Sonepur division, 56 by Samastipur division and ride box repair factory, Hainaut.
He hoped that these efforts of the Railways will not only strengthen the fight against the coronavirus but will also strengthen the national efforts to fight the virus.