India converts trains into hospitals in response to coronavirus pandemic
India's railway network has announced it will convert trains into hospitals to house coronavirus patients after all passenger services were suspended at the end of March, The Independent reports.
Indian Railways has said it plans to convert as many as 20,000 train carriages into isolation wards, complete with curtained-off beds, a nurses’ station, doctor’s cabin and space for medical supplies and equipment.
Each carriage can accommodate 16 patients.
The first 5,000 isolation wards are due to be rolled out in two weeks, according to Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, executive director of information and publicity at the Railway Board.
“Preparing to Combat Coronavirus: In a novel initiative, Railways has converted train coaches into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients,” tweeted Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of railways and commerce and industry.
“Now, Railways will offer clean, sanitised and hygienic surroundings for the patients to comfortably recover.”
Once converted, the train carriages will travel to places in need of extra beds across Indian Railways’ network of 7,349 stations and 67,368km of track.