ஏசி காற்று குழாய்கள் மூலம் கோவிட்-19 வைரஸ் பரவும் அபாயம் உள்ளதால், ஏசி ரயில் பெட்டிகள் பொருத்தமானதல்ல 5231 ஏ.சி அல்லாத ரயில் பெட்டிகளை தனிமை பெட்டிகளாக இந்திய ரயில்வே மாற்றியுள்ளது

கொவிட்-19 சிகிச்சை அளிக்கும் திறனை அதிகப்படுத்துவதற்காகஇந்திய ரயில்வேத்துறை 5231 .சி அல்லாத ரயில் பெட்டிகளை தனிமை பெட்டிகளாக மாற்றியுள்ளதுமத்திய சுகாதாரத்துறை அமைச்சகத்தின் வழி காட்டுதல்கள்படி, கொவிட்டால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டிருக்கலாம் என்று சந்தேகிக்கப்படும் நோயாளிகளையும், கொவிட் நோயாளிகளையும் பராமரிக்கும் மையங்களாக இந்த ரயில் பெட்டிகள்  மாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளன.

       மத்திய சுகாதாரத்துறை மற்றும் நிதி ஆயோக் உருவாக்கிய ஒருங்கிணைந்த கோவிட் திட்டத்தின் ஒரு பகுதியாக இந்த வசதிகள் உள்ளனமாநிலங்களில் உள்ள படுக்கை வசதிகளில் நோயாளிகள் நிறைந்த பின் இவற்றை பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும்.

இந்த ரயில் பெட்டியை காற்றோட்டமுள்ள, இயற்கை வெளிச்சம் உள்ள இடங்களில் பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும். குளிர்சாதன வசதி அளிக்கப்பட்டால், அது குழாய் வழி ஏ.சியாக இருக்ககூடாது.

கொவிட் நோயாளிகளுக்கு ரயில் பெட்டிகள் தயாரிக்கும் முன்பே, ஏ.சி விஷயம் குறித்து நிதி ஆயாக் மற்றும் மத்திய சுகாதாரத்துறையுடன் ஆலோசிக்கப்பட்டது. ஏ.சி காற்று குழாய்கள் மூலம் கோவிட்-19 வைரஸ் பரவும் அபாயம் உள்ளதால், ஏ.சி பெட்டிகள் பொருத்தமாக இருக்காது என முடிவு செய்யப்பட்டது. கோவிட் வைரஸை எதிர்த்துப் போராட, அதிகளவிலான வெப்பநிலை தேவை. மேலும் திறந்த ஜன்னல்கள் மூலமான காற்றோட்ட வசதி நோயாளிகளுக்கு பலன் அளிக்கும்.

    உயர் நிலைக்குழு-2 உத்தரவுப்படியும், விருப்பப்படியும், இந்த தனிமை ரயில் பெட்டிகள், கோவிட் பராமரிப்பு மையங்களாக செயல்படும். மிதமான மற்றும் அதிகமிதமான அல்லது தொற்று இருக்கலாம் என  சந்தேகப்படும் கொவிட் நோயாளிகளுக்கு, இந்த ரயில் பெட்டிகளை பயன்படுத்தலாம்.

    மத்திய சுகாதாரத்துறை அமைச்சகம் தயாரித்த கோவிட் ரயில் விதி முறைப்படி, கோவிட் ரயில் நிற்கும் பிளாட்பாரத்துக்கு அருகேயுள்ள பிளாட்பாரத்தில் ஒரு அவசர சிகிச்சை மையம் சுகாதாரத்துறையினரால் அமைக்கப்பட வேண்டும்.  ரயில் நிற்கும் பிளாட்பாரத்துக்கு இறுதியில், பொருட்களை மாற்றுவதற்கான அறைவசதி செய்யப்பட வேண்டும். நிரந்தரமாக இந்த வசதி இல்லை என்றாலும், தற்காலிக ஏற்பாட்டில் இந்த வசதி வழங்கப்பட வேண்டும்.

மாநிலத்தில் உள்ள படுக்கை வசதிகளில், நோயாளிகள் நிறைந்த பின்பே, இந்த ரயில் பெட்டி வசதிகளைப் பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும் என அறிவுறுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது.

இந்த ரயில் பெட்டிகள் ஜூலை மாத மத்தியில் தான் தேவைப்படும் என எதிர்பார்க்கப்படுகிறது. அப்போது தான், நோய்பாதிப்பு உச்சத்தில் இருக்கும் என்றும் எதிர்பார்க்கப்படுகிறது.

AC COACHES NOT SUITABLE IN VIEW OF THE POTENTIAL TRANSMISSION RISK OF COVID 19 VIRUS THROUGH AC DUCTING

Indian Railways has converted 5231 non air-conditioned coaches into isolation coaches

Facility needs to be well ventilated with adequate scope for natural lighting and Air Conditioning if provided, should be non ducted which rules out AC Coaches

It was decided by the Empowered Group to convert Non Air Conditioned coaches into Covid Care Centres

Generally a higher ambient temperature is expected to assist in fighting the Virus and cross circulation of air through open windows will benefit patients

Deployment of Non AC coaches is a technical and health imperative

Multi-pronged strategy is being adopted to provide comfort to the patients and staff

Each such isolation train 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

Doctors and Paramedics to be provided by requisitioning State Governments; Railways is only a service provider

In order to augment the capability against COVID-19, Indian Railways has converted 5231 non air-conditioned coaches into isolation coaches, at the level of COVID Care Center (CCC) as per the ‘Guidance Documenton Appropriate Management of Suspect/Confirmed cases of COVID-19’ circulated by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

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.

It was also stipulated that the Facility should be well ventilated with adequate scope for natural lighting, and Air Conditioning if provided, should be non ducted which rules out AC Coaches.

The issue of AC vs NAC 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 in view of the potential transmission risk of COVID 19 virus through AC ducting, and 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 Centers”, 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 platform where the train is parked, by the associated health unit. One changing facility for doffing at end of the train on 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.

It is reiterated that it was decided by the Empowered Group to convert Non Air Conditioned coaches into Covid Care Centres because of the unsuitability of Air conditioned coaches due to the potential transmission risk, and the fact that a well ventilated area with slightly higher temperature was expected to aid in recovery.

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 in view of the potential transmission risk  of COVID 19 virus through AC ducting, and generally a higher ambient temperature was expected to assist in fighting the Virus and cross circulation of air through open windows will benefit patients.

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.

In order to beat the heat build-up inside the coaches due to summer temperatures, a multi-pronged strategy is being adopted, which will provide comfort to the patients and staff.

The following steps are being tried out:-

1. Cover sheets (White Canat) or Suitable Material are being placed over          theisolation coaches stationed at platforms. It is expected that this would in higher insulation from outside heat.

      2.         Bubble wrap films are being applied on the coaches, which are expected to reduce temperatures inside coaches by 1°C.

      3.         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.

      4.         Trials are also being planned for another coating developed in association with IIT, Mumbai. The trial would be done on 20/6/2020 and the results would be recorded.

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.

      5.         A trial has been done by placing portable coolers inside the coaches. A temperature reduction of upto 3°C was achieved using these coolers.

      6.         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 utilized 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.

Source: Press Information Bureau – Govt. of India

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