New Delhi / Mumbai: The utter disregard for recent health diktats was more than manifest when it was revealed by the Railways that at least 12 people, who are infected with corona virus, travelled in trains between March 13 and 16.
In the first instance on Friday, eight corona positive passengers had travelled on the Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express from New Delhi to Ramagundam on March
13; in another such incident, four passengers travelled on Godan Express from Mumbai to Jabalpur on March 16. The passengers had arrived from Dubai last week.
But even as the Railways asked people to postpone all journeys to minimise the possibility of contracting the virus, spooked citizens were hopping onto trains, hoping to reach their native places, where they would be feel more insulated from the harsh reality.
"Railways has found some cases of coronavirus infect-ed passengers in trains which makes train travel risky. Avoid train travel as you may also get infected if your co-passenger has coronavirus. Postpone all journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe," the railways tweeted. A part of the problem is that while airports are sanitised and have a surveillance system in place, the railways have no such paraphernalia, except for detectors which are meant to detect metal objects, not microbes.
Waking up to the reality, in a knee-jerk response, the Railways have only now sought help from the state government for making special arrangements to screen passengers coming from outstation. At certain stations, thermal screening was being done but given the scale of forced migration, it seems to be an exercise in futility.
One of the states on high alerts is Bihar, which expects thousands of travellers from the Mumbai-Pune region to disembark at Patna, Ara and Buxar.