The railways and their employees are getting embroiled in the increasing number of cases of Covid-19. There are currently 37 active cases who are undergoing hospitalization at Indian Railways Jagjivan Ram Hospital (JRH) that played a vital role in handling the two waves of Covid-19 in the last 2 years or so.
The number of railway employees getting themselves tested is increasing, which could be an issue for the public at large considering that lakhs of people are travelling in local trains every day. Sources said that there are many who have been found Covid positive but are home quarantined. “There are 37 active cases of Covid-19 admitted at Jagjivan Ram Hospital,” said a senior Western Railway official.
These patients admitted at JRH are namely employees working in rail workshops, commercial department of ticket issuing and checking, railway police, motormen and guards etc. For instance, sources said that at the rail workshops here in Mumbai, there are 7-8 new cases of rail employees including top bosses turning ill from the Coronavirus.
These employees are responsible for the maintenance of local trains including the coaches, wheels, axles and other parts. This comes at a time when the top boss of Western Railway, Alok Kansal who is the General Manager is expected to visit them in the coming days. The Free Press Journal had earlier reported about the rail employees objecting to the biometric form of attendance at offices considering the Covid situation now.
Government officials said that the Centre has already asked all offices to discontinue the biometric attendance system. On January 3, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh tweeted that “Important Announcement by DoPT: Keeping in view the rise in Covid cases in the last few days, the biometric attendance for government officials and employees is being suspended with immediate effect, till further orders”.
Earlier last week, the commercial staff who issue suburban local train tickets to people were found to be Covid positive while on-duty. Later other colleagues were later asked to undergo the RT-PCR test as well. The rail officials said that they will continue to run services and allow fully vaccinated people along with those who are allowed by the Maharashtra government until new guidelines come in.
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