In order to help India during the COVID-19 outbreak, Indian Railway has developed a low-cost ventilator prototype, Jeevan. The Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory (RCF) has developed a low-cost ventilator that can be used in the isolation wards or quarantine facilities made by the Indian Railways in train coaches across the network. The prototype has an original design and would cost almost a fraction of what the regular ventilators cost. It fulfills all the key parameters of a ventilator like control on breathing rate, expiratory ratio and tidal volume.
It is a very thoughtful step by the Indian Railways as the country is grappling with a shortage of medical equipment to fight against coronavirus and ventilators could save thousands of lives. It is a very important device to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as it pumps air and oxygen into the lungs. The prototype is now awaiting ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) clearance to go into production. As soon as it gets approved, railways would be able to produce 100 ventilators in a day. A ventilator would cost around Rs 10,000 without the compressor. If a few additional indicators are going to be added in the ventilator then also it will not cost more than Rs 30,000.
“Jeevan” ventilator has been made from the materials found in the rail factory. The body of the ventilator is made from the train coach components. The heart of the ventilator is the compressed air container with a microprocessor-based controller. A valve has been installed in the system for regulating the breathing of the patient, whether old or young. The machine is a silent operator and could be optimized to a more compact size.
The number of ventilators that are available in the country is 57,000 that ranges between 5 lakh to 15 lakh. In the worst-case scenario, India would need 110,000 - 220,000 ventilators by May 15, 2020. According to the Health Ministry the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country climbed to 9,290 while the death toll rose to 335. The government of India has also launched a mobile app, Aarogya Setu to help the citizens in identifying if he/she has crossed paths with someone who has tested positive. The tracking is done through a Bluetooth & location-generated social graph, which can show your interaction with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are some steps taken by the Ministry of Railways to fight against COVID-19.
Conversion of coaches into isolation centres: The railway board is converting 5000 train coaches into isolation wards across the country to treat coronavirus patients. Conversion of 3250 coaches has already been completed.
5,000 beds for COVID patients: Over 5,000 beds in 33 railway hospitals have been earmarked for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Such hospitals and blocks are being made to serve as quarantine/isolation facilities for coronavirus.
11,000 quarantine beds: Around 11,000 quarantine beds have been made by the railway production units to fight COVID-19.
Production of medical equipment, ventilators and PPEs: Railway zones are also working towards procuring ventilators, PPEs and medical equipment. Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has already started in the railway workshops.
Railway Health Services to all Central Government Employees: The railway board is providing health services to all Central Government Employees throughout the nation. These employees can avail the health services by showing their identity cards at the Railway Hospitals/Health Centres.
That’s all folks! Keep reading the Trainman blog to know the latest updates on railways and COVID-19 virus. Stop the spread of novel coronavirus by taking necessary precautions like social distancing, self-isolation, avoid going outside the home and by eating homemade hygienic food. Stay home, stay safe.