India on Wednesday commenced the conversion of railway carriages and sports stadiums into isolation wards to deal with an expected surge in coronavirus cases.
It had also converted some sports facilities into temporary jails for lockdown violators.
Earlier, the Indian Railways said work had commenced on modifying 20,000 carriages into medical facilities, with each carriage containing 16 beds.
According to the statement from the railways, the development means that a total of 320,000 patients could be cared for in the quarantine coaches.
India has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent time, with authorities confirming 1,637 infections and 38 deaths.
There are worries that India’s beleaguered health-care system may be overwhelmed with the surge in cases.
The country lacks doctors and paramedics as well as critical medical equipment like ventilators to deal with the large outbreak of COVID-19, the potentially fatal respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, apart from converting railway coaches, Indian states had also commenced the conversion of some stadia into quarantine facilities and temporary hospitals.
In New Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said that Jawaharlal Nehru stadium would be converted to a quarantine centre to deal with the rising numbers of COVID-19 patients in the city.
However, authorities in the remote North-Eastern state of Assam that had few cases had also converted the Sarusajai stadium into a quarantine centre with a capacity of approximately 1,000 people.
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According to police spokesman Charanjit Singh, in the Northern city of Chandigarh, a stadium and sports complex have been taken over for a completely different use.
Mr Singh noted that the facilities had been converted into temporary jails to detain those who violated the lockdown.
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