Railways using only non-AC sleeper coaches to set up isolation wards, says minister

The Indian Railways is getting battle ready. Around 50 train coaches have already been converted into isolation centres. Many more coaches are going to be converted into isolation centres in the coming days. This, in case there is a rapid increase in coronavirus positive cases.

The bulk of the coaches, apparently, are being modified by the Northern Railway and North Central Railway. The Southern Railway has also begun work on converting around 20 train coaches into isolation wards.

By April 10, around 70 trains with 10 coaches will be modified. This can accommodate close to 10,000 people. Officials in Indian Railways said they are prepared to convert around 5,000 coaches if the need arises within a month.

Said Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi to THE WEEK, “We cannot construct hospitals in a few days. But we can quickly convert train coaches into isolation wards. The aim here is to fight the deadly coronavirus together with all other departments concerned. During this crisis, the Indian Railways will do everything from its side to help people.”

He said once more coaches are ready it will be handed over to the health department, and the state governments can use them as per their requirements. Only non-AC sleeper coaches, which are more than 15-years-old, are being turned into isolation centres.

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