Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bhubaneswar: Amid the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the East Coast Railway in Bhubaneswar has fulfilled its target of converting 261 Sleeper and General coaches into 'COVID-19 Isolation Coach' to serve the nation in this tough time.

The 5000 coaches offered by Railways would be used as quarantine/isolation facilities. The conversion has been done at different workshops and coaching depots of ECoR e.g. Mancheswar, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Vishakhapatnam.

All the essential amenities have been integrated within the coaches. The patients will be facilitated with the essential amenities along with necessary medical facilities in coaches.

After the conversion of the coaches, trains of these coaches have been kept at different stations across East Coast Railway.

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Mancheswar Workshop has converted 51 coaches into isolation wards while the coaching depots at Puri have transformed 39 coaches into isolation wards, Bhubaneswar 46, Sambalpur 32, Vishakhapatnam 60 and at Khurda Road station has set up 33 coaches as COVID-19 isolation coaches and have kept it at various important railway stations.

All essential facilities required by a patient has been set up inside by doing necessary modification in the coaches. The changes include mosquito nets at windows, one bathroom and three toilets in a single coach, removal of the middle berth, six liquid soap dispensers in each coach, four bottle holders and three dustbins in each coupe, laptop and mobile charging facilities, pillow and bedsheets, plastic curtain at both ends of aisle area, mug and buckets in the bathrooms etc.

Apart from these facilities, necessary medical amenities like oxygen cylinders has also be provided set up for emergency needs. The first cabin of each coach will be used as a store/paramedics area and other cabins will be used for patients.

Currently, two trains have been kept at Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Puri and Sambalpur each, while one train at Cuttack and Titlagarh. Similarly, three trains have been stationed at Vishakhapatnam and one at Vizianagaram for the purpose. These coaches will serve for isolation and quarantine purposes whenever required.

A senior officer of East Coast Railway, Saktikant Acharya said, “These trains can be sent to any part of the Country whenever required.”

Also Read: India Fights COVID19: Railway Converts 5,000 Coaches Into Isolation Wards