KARACHI: The Pakistan Railways established a special quarantine train at the Karachi’s Cantt Station on Monday. According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Railways, in view of the worsening situation of the coronavirus epidemic, it had established emergency isolation rooms for the suspected patients of COVID-19 pertaining to its staff and workers.
Pakistan Railways Deputy Director Asad Tariq said a total of five carriages were joined to make 36 isolated beds for the suspected patients of the novel coronavirus. He added that a 30-bed quarantine centre of the Pakistan Railways was already functional at the Hassan Railway Hospital near the Cantt Station.
“Now the Pakistan Railways has 66 isolated beds for the people of Karachi,” he said and added that their staff, doctors and paramedics will be present in these isolated coaches round the clock.
The coaches comprise of three air-conditioned sleepers and two air-conditioned business coaches having the capacity to isolate 36 people. Tariq said the capacity could be increased if the need arose.
“The prime purpose for the established facility is to quarantine the suspects of coronavirus,” the statement said. It added that the facility was equipped with all the basic and necessary facilities required for the patients having symptoms of the viral disease.
The isolation rooms, according to the statement, would be monitored by the medical staff of the Hassan Railways Hospital. The Pakistan Railways has also extended its support to the provincial government and asked some hospitals running in Karachi to send their patients, if need be, to these isolated coaches.
According to videos of the coaches shared by the Pakistan Railways, small cabins inside the coaches have been cleaned and turned into isolation centres where the berths have been converted into beds.
Isolation ward numbers have been pasted at all the coaches. Each cabin has also got a separate toilet. Meanwhile, Sindh Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah has asked the Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad to convert the trains standing at different stations into quarantine centres. “All the trains should be converted into quarantine centres, as there is an extreme dearth of hospitals in the country.