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Idle Indian trains become coronavirus isolation wards

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

State-owned Indian Railways says it plans to turn some idled trains into coronavirus isolation wards.

India says it is planning to turn some railway coaches into isolation wards for patients with coronavirus as authorities scramble to prepare the country's health infrastructure for an expected surge in cases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the country's 1.3 billion people this week to stay indoors for three weeks in the world's biggest lockdown, seeking to curb the spread of the illness.

India's network of trains, the country's lifeblood, has been idled.

One train coach has been turned into a prototype quarantine facility, state-owned Indian Railways said in a statement yesterday

Once they get clearance, the plan is for each of India's railway zones to convert 10 coaches into such wards every week, the company added.

Indian Railways has 16 zones, according to its website.

"Railways will offer clean, sanitised & hygienic surroundings for the patients to comfortably recover," tweeted railways minister Piyush Goyal.

He did not specify how many people could be cared for in each coach.

India has so far reported 873 confirmed cases, including 19 deaths.

Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?

The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.

How can I protect myself and my family?

Coronavirus: How to protect yourself and others

The World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Good hygiene includes:

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Reported with AAP.

Source: 9News

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