India & Pakistan convert trains into mobile Covid-19 hospitals (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Pakistan’s national railway has converted all of its business class coaches into rolling quarantine wards for Covid-19 patients, adding thousands of beds to the fight against the virus, a move mirroring a similar project in India.
The mobile isolation units are ready to ship out to any part of the country connected by rail lines, offering much needed relief to local authorities in Pakistan’s hardest-hit regions, Railways Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmad announced on Monday at the Rawalpindi train station in Punjab, a major stop on the Karachi–Peshawar line.
#Pakistan#Railways Introduces 300-Bed Quarantine Trains In Seven CitiesThe Pakistan Railways Inaugurated On Monday Quarantine Trains, Comprising 300 Beds, In Seven Cities Across Pakistan Including #Karachi, #Rawalpindi#Sukkur And #Multan. pic.twitter.com/AIFcs41LwO— Developing Pakistan (@DevelopmentPk) March 30, 2020
Pakistan Railways #Rawalpindi Division has dedicated 6 coaches as a special quarantine ward. 40 beds with complete medical facilities and attended by doctors are made available for the isolation of suspected COVID19 cases #Pakistan#Railways#Coronavirus#COVID19@DevelopmentPkpic.twitter.com/UstDZr6gt7— Ik Information (@IkInformation) March 31, 2020
Some 220 coaches have been specially equipped to house and treat patients, each containing nine beds, the Dawn newspaper reports. Train stations in all seven divisions administered by Pakistan Railways – in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur, Rawalpindi and Multan – have also been fitted with 100 beds and a ventilator each, further taking pressure off local healthcare systems.
Pakistan Railways has launched Quarantine special train including two AC sleepers and three normal sleepers pic.twitter.com/UB1D7eHrWa— Sindhnews.com (@Sindnewspk) March 30, 2020
Pakistan has suspended all passenger rail services amid the Covid-19 outbreak, allowing only freight cars to deliver vital food and supply shipments around the country. While Ahmad said he hoped passenger lines could reopen sometime in April, he noted they would remain shuttered until authorities could get a handle on the outbreak, which has sickened some 1,700 Pakistanis and killed 21, according to Johns Hopkins University.Also on rt.com Pakistanis spar over enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown after offenders forced to do SQUATS on streets (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
India, too, has signaled plans to convert rail cars into moving isolation wards, with the state-owned Indian Railways presenting a prototype for the project over the weekend. Once cleared by authorities, the train operator hopes to convert 10 coaches into quarantine units each week to serve its 16 zones, which make up the world’s fourth largest rail network. Despite boasting a population of over 1.3 billion, India has confirmed only around 1,250 cases of the virus to date, with 32 deaths.
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