Indian Railways has converted non air-conditioned coaches into isolation coaches

    19-Jun-2020   
Total Views |

 

 a_1  H x W: 0 x
 
Indian Railways has converted 5231 non-air-conditioned coaches into isolation coaches, at the level of COVID Care centre (CCC) as per the 'Guidance Documentation Appropriate Management of Suspect/Confirmed cases of COVID-19' circulated by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
 
The issue of AC vs Non-AC coaches was discussed with NITI Ayog and Ministry of Health and Family welfare before converting these coaches for COVID Patients. It was agreed that AC coaches would not be suitable because of the potential transmission risk of COVID-19 virus through AC ducting. Generally, a higher ambient temperature was expected to assist in fighting the Virus and cross circulation of air through open windows will benefit patients.
 
As directed and desired by the Empowered Group II, these isolation coaches, serving as "COVID Care Centres", shall offer care only for cases that have been clinically assigned as mild or very mild cases or COVID suspect cases. Each such isolation train/CCC must necessarily be mapped to one or more Dedicated COVID Health Centres and at least one Dedicated COVID Hospital for referral purpose where the patients can be shifted to in case their condition starts to deteriorate.
 
As per the COVID train procedure prepared by MoHFW, one emergency resuscitation facility shall be set up on the platform adjacent to the platform where the train is parked, by the associated health unit. One changing facility for doffing at the end of the train on a platform where the train is parked is required to be provided. This facility, if not available as a permanent set up, may be provided as a temporary arrangement.
 
It was advised that these coaches would be used only when the state facilities would get overwhelmed and it was expected that these coaches could be required for use by Mid July, by which time the virus was expected to peak.
 
The Non AC coaches would be a little warm in Mid-June if the windows are kept closed, and the ambient temperature may also be around 43 °C. But, once mosquito nets are installed and the windows kept open, the cross circulation of air is expected to improve the temperature. It may be noted that even this kind of temperature is expected to be temporary phenomenon as the arrival of monsoon and rains would bring relief.
 
Many steps are being tried out, Cover sheets or Suitable Material are being placed over the isolation coaches stationed at platforms. It is expected that this would in higher insulation from outside heat, Bubble wrap films are being applied on the coaches, which are expected to reduce temperatures inside coaches by 1°C.
 

a_1  H x W: 0 x 
 
Heat Reflective Paint on Roof: A trial was conducted by Northern Railway by painting the roof of isolation coaches with heat reflective paint. During trial, it was found that temperature inside the coaches can be reduced up to 2.2°C.
 
Arrangements are also being made to paint the roof with a heat reflecting paint or alternatively provide a bamboo chic etc. which will lower the temperature further, a trial has been done by placing portable coolers inside the coaches. A temperature reduction of up to 3°C was achieved using these coolers.
 
Water mist systems are also being tried out. In the current season of dry air, it is expected that the resulting temperature reduction would enhance the comfort of expected patients.
 
It may be noted that Railways is making these Coaches available as a service provider to State Governments as per the Guidelines issued by MOHFW. These coaches were to be utilised by States as a contingency measure only when all other means to isolate the COVID patients have been exhausted. More than 5000 coaches are ready for any such contingency.
 
These facilities are part of the integrated COVID plan developed by MoHFW and NITI Ayog and are normally to be used when state facilities are overwhelmed.
 
(Source: PIB)