To help the government in its effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, Indian Railways said it would prepare 20,000 coaches which can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh beds for isolation needs.

“As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20000 coaches into quarantine and isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. In this connection, consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches,” an official statement said.

“These modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5,000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine and isolation coaches has already started,” it added.

These 5,000 coaches would be having the capacity to accommodate up to 80,000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation.

The Zonal Railways have been advised to plan for the said modifications immediately and inform the date of readiness of these rakes to Railway Board.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 1,251.