Indian Railways on Saturday said it plans to turn coaches into isolation cabins for cornonavirus patients as the country prepares to battle the outbreak of the global pandemic.
A prototype of train coach has already been prepared. Thereafter, 10 coaches will be converted into isolation units for such patients.
In the prototype, the middle berth has been removed from one side, all the three berths on one side and ladders for climbing up the berths have been removed. Bathrooms, aisle areas and other areas have also been modified, news agency ANI said in tweet.
The national transporter has been continually taking steps to support India's healthcare system, amid a rapid rise in the number of individuals affected by coronavirus. There are 775 active cases in the country, with 20 deaths.
Earlier this week, it had asked its rolling stock production units to explore the possibility of manufacturing essential medical items such masks, sanitizers that can be used for treatment of people affected by coronavirus.
Indian Railways has ensured availability of essential commodities and freight services throughout the country, amid a 21-day nationwide curfew. Railways has cancelled all trains till April 14 due to the lockdown that was imposed to contain the spread of the disease.
"More than 34000 freight wagons were loaded yesterday (March 27); Of these, more than 23000 wagons carried essential commodities," railway ministry said on Saturday.
"During the situation of lockdown in all the wtates, Indian Railways staff deployed at various good sheds, stations and control offices continued working on 24/7 basis to ensure that the supply of essential items for the nation does not get affected," it said.
On 27 March, as many as 34,648 wagons carried supplies to keep the supply chains functional. Out of this, 23,682 wagons of essential commodities were ferried by Indian Railways in 425 rakes. The total number of wagons carrying essential commodities during the last five days was around 1.25 lakhs.
"Out of the total 23682 wagons which were loaded for essential commodities, there were 1576 wagons of foodgrains, 42 wagons of fruits and vegetables, 42 wagons of sugar, 42 wagons of salt, 20488 wagons of coal, and 1492 wagons of petroleum products," it said.