In Japan, Honda says it has modified 50 of its StepWGN and Odyssey MPVs for use as transport vehicles to take Covid-19 patients to hospitals and quarantine facilities, Reuters reports. The automaker said this has been accomplished by sealing off the rear section from the front in these support vehicles, providing the driver with protection from the virus.

An airtight divide has been built between the driver and the rear passenger areas of the vehicles, and the air-conditioning system in the car has been reconfigured to enable fresh air to enter through the front near the base of the windshield wipers, pass through to the rear passenger area through vents and exit through the back.

The company said that the one-way ventilation system installed in the dedicated fifth-gen StepWGN facelift and Odyssey units will ensure that air from the rear section does not recirculate back into the front end of the cabin, reducing the risk of infection.

The company has begun lending out these cars to health authorities in Tokyo, and delivered two vehicles earlier this week. Honda says it eventually plans to also supply the vehicles to nearby Saitama prefecture, and added that it will consider making more such vehicles available, depending on demand.

Meanwhile, Toyota says that it is considering ways to equip its JPN Taxi models used by taxi operators in the country to transport infected patients, but the report did not indicate how the taxis will be reconfigured. Japan now has more than 9,200 cases of coronavirus infections as of Friday (April 17) morning.

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