Mumbai: Indian Railways on Thursday has announced additional measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To discourage unnecessary travel and to prevent the vulnerable category of senior citizens from undertaking unnecessary travels, concessional booking of all tickets except patients, students and divyangjan category for unreserved and reserved segment are being suspended form 00:00 hrs of March 20. The curbs will be enforced till further advisory.
As a precautionary measure and to discourage non-essential travel and overcrowding in trains, so far, total 155 pairs of low occupancy trains are cancelled up to March 31.
Trains are also cancelled keeping in view the availability of alternate trains for passengers and ensuring that no passenger shall remain stranded. Full refund is offered to passengers whose train has been cancelled.
Indian Railways has also facilitated return of students stranded in North India due to sudden closure of educational institutions to their homes in southern, north-eastern and eastern regions of India.
The railways has issued advisories to passengers to avoid non-essential train journeys. They have also asked them to ensure that they don’t have running fever during journey commencement. Furthermore, at any point of journey if passenger feels feverish they can contact the railway staff for medical attention and further assistance.
To avoid unnecessary crowding at railway stations in the wake of spread of COVID 19, the divisional railway managers have been instructed to review the situation. This is in addition to hiking the rate of the platform ticket to Rs50 wherever necessary.
Further, regular announcements are being done on public announcement system of railway stations and trains to sensitise the public about various dos and don’ts. A few of them are frequent washing of hands, maintaining social distance and covering the mouth while sneezing and coughing.
The precautions to be taken if one’s running fever is not to travel and report immediately to the doctor, not spitting anywhere in public places and railway premises and avoid overcrowding. Ensuring distance between passengers in trains including suburban trains is also a necessary precaution to be taken.
Meanwhile, Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 more trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31 in view of coronavirus and low occupancy, officials said.
With this, the total number of cancelled trains has climbed to 155. The national transporter had cancelled around 99 trains on Wednesday night.
"All passengers having tickets in these trains are being informed about it individually," the official said.