Guwahati: In an effort to prepare for the future requirements necessitated by the growing number of Coronavirus positive cases across the country, the Indian railways has started converting train coaches into isolation wards to deal with rush of COVID-19 patients. A railway official said that this such a such a plan can help the government and all other authorities to be well-prepared to meet any emergency. Also Read - COVID-19 Pandemic To Be 'Far More Deadly' This Year, Warns WHO

“One prototype has been converted into the Isolation ward now. If this is finalised, Railway is planning that in every zone of railways, 10 coaches per week will be converted into isolation ward,” Indian Railways said in a statement. Also Read - With 500 ICU Bed Facility, Delhi's Iconic Ram Leela Maidan Turns Into COVID Care Centre

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Talking to IANS, NFR Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said, “Out of the 17 railway zones in India, the Railway Board has asked Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and the Northearn Railway to modify train coaches into isolation wards on experimental basis to deal with patients of novel coronavirus.”

“To start with, the NFR is converting coaches at the coach maintenance depot in Kamakhya and Guwahati into isolation wards after consulting medical professionals of the railways,” the CPRO said.

Chanda said a non-AC sleeper coach is already converted into an isolation ward for probable patients suffering from COVID-19.

“Each cabin of a coach has been converted into an independent isolation ward which will accommodate one patient. There are nine such cabins in one coach. One of the four toilets of the coach has been converted into a bathroom with facility for shower,” the NFR official said.

He said that insulated bamboo sheets put up on the roof and the side walls of the modified coach for reducing the heat transfer and temperature inside the converted isolation wards.

“If the railway coaches, experimentally converted into isolation wards, become purposeful to deal with the COVID-19 patients, then the railway board might ask all the 17 zones to modify more coaches to convert into isolation wards,” chanda said.