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Pakistan Railway Converts Train Cars Into COVID-19 Isolation Units

A railway station is deserted after authorities shut down railway service in an effort to contain the new coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, March 25, 2020.

With train service suspended in the country, Pakistan railway officials have begun converting air-conditioned sleeper and business class cars into medical wards for COVID-19 virus patients.

Pakistan Railway medical officer Dr. Abdula Samad tells the Associated Press news agency the sleeper and business class cars they converted can each hold about 36 patients, and they also can be adapted for isolation.

The railway company says overall it has converted 220 coaches with a total capacity of as many as 2,000 hospital beds.

Railway Minister Shaikh Rashid Amad told reporters Monday these mobile facilities can now be sent to any part of the country with rail service to help ease pressure on health care services in that area.

On its website, the Pakistan Health Ministry reports 1,865 cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday, with 25 deaths.