As many as 313 coaches in the South Western Railway (SWR) Zone have been converted into quarantine centres comprising 2,400 isolation wards to combat noval coronavirus, Union Minister of State Suresh Angadi has said. "SWR has already achieved the target of turning 313 coaches into isolation wards, which have a 2,400-bed capacity (calculated with eight beds in a coach). In a bid to increase the capacity for isolation facilities, the railways has converted sleeper class coaches into COVID-19 isolation wards," he said in Hubballi on Friday.
Angadi was accompanied by Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar during the inspection of the facilities.
The deployment of the coaches would be decided by Ministry of Health and National Disaster Management Cell, Angadi said adding that the coaches would be supplementing the number of isolation beds in hospitals.
He appreciated the RPF, which in collaboration with IRCTC, was providing food to the needy people at various stations across the country.
So far, 29,000 meals have been distributed in Hubballi, he said.
Middle berths and ladders have been removed to ensure comfort and better space, the SWR said in a statement.
According to the SWR, 96 coaches would be deployed at Hubballi workshops, 35 at Hubballi division 89 at Mysuru workshops, 32 in Mysuru division and 61 at Bengaluru division.