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India is planning to use train coaches as coronavirus (Covid-19) isolation wards in response to the growing number of cases in the country.

As part of the initiative, one railway coach has already been converted into a prototype quarantine facility to trial the concept.

If the concept is approved, each of the railway zones will be ordered to transform ten coaches into such isolation wards every week.

A railway official told Asian News International: “To make the patient cabin, the middle berth has been removed from one side, all three berths in front of the patient berth have been removed, all ladders for climbing up the berths have been removed.

“The bathrooms, aisle areas and other areas have also been modified to prepare the isolation coach.”

Each of these non-AC coaches will be equipped to accommodate up to eight patients, one in each compartment. The coaches will also include separate spaces for healthcare personnel.

In the worst scenario, the coaches will accommodate up to 16 patients with two in each compartment.

The move comes at a time when the number of coronavirus cases in India has exceeded 1,000. The figure witnessed a steep surge in the last few days, registering a daily increase of around 100 patients.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the disease.