Railway staff making masks, sanitizers

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NF Railway to convert coaches into COVID-19 isolation wards

HT Correspondent

SHILLONG, March 29: Facing a shortage of doctors, face masks, hand sanitizers and isolation wards in the wake of high demand amidst the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic, Indian Railways have come to extend its helping hand in the country’s fight against this deadly virus.

A section of employees of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) are chipping in with what they can to manufacture masks from home.

To cope with the situation as face masks have become a scarce commodity in market and railway staff is discharging essential duty for Nation defying all odds amidst scourge of COVID-19.

In an exemplary initiative, a few ladies staff working in the mechanical department of Katihar Division volunteered to manufacture Face masks from home, a statement issued by NF Railways said.

Recently, 80 face masks have been made for distribution and this effort will be continued, the statement said adding that similarly, in Lumding division railway staff and members of Women Welfare Organization have stitched 2500 washable masks and distributed it to our front line workers. They are also making hand sanitizers for use of the essential duty staff.

Meanwhile, in line with Indian Railways, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is also mulling to convert coaches into COVID-19 isolation wards.

These coaches turned isolation wards will be set up at the Coach Maintenance Depot in Kamakhya and Guwahati.

In a statement, NFR chief public relations officer said, “To start with, N F Railway is converting coaches at the Coach Maintenance Depot in Kamakhya and Guwahati into isolation wards after consulting medical professionals at N F Railway Central Hospital, Maligaon.”

“A non-AC sleeper coach is converted into an isolation wards for patients suffering from Covid-19. Each cabin of coach has been converted into an independent isolation ward which shall accommodate one patient. There are nine such cabins in one coach,” the statement added.

“Middle berths have been removed from these cabins for keeping two feet bed space on the berths,” it read.

“Extra bottle holders and electric points are provided for medicines, IV Fluids and medical equipment like oscilloscope monitor, suction apparatus, etc,” the statement also stated.

On the other hand, essential NFR staff are working day and night to run freight train services throughout its jurisdiction ferrying essential commodities like salt, sugar, food-grains, petroleum products etc for public distribution system. Moreover, NFR is also carrying items like potatoes, milk, vegetables, fertilizers and food-grains transported by private businessmen so that there is no shortage of these commodities in market for the need of common people.

Close coordination is being maintained with the State Governments so that the rakes of essential commodities are handled smoothly without any delay, amidst various restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19, the statement added.

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