ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has converted its business class and air-conditioned sleeper coaches into mobile isolation wards to accommodate around 2,000 beds for patients suffering from COVID-19.
The departmet has taken this decision as an effort to contribute to the government’s effort to curb the pandemic and utilize the mass transit during the period when service is suspended due to lockdown.
These isolation wards will be mobile and can be moved to any part of the country connected with railway tracks upon requirement in case existing health structure of an area is in need, according to the Railways Minister Shaikh Rahseed.
Each with 9 compartments with a capacity of 9 wards, all 220 coaches have been converted into isolation wards. An additional 100 beds for each of the seven divisions of the department – Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur and Multan – are equipped with a ventilator and available for use.
Pakistan Railways has suspended the train service across the country for passenger while freight train service is continued so that supply of food and other necessities is not disrupted.