Photo Credit: BL Soni

Mumbai: In the wake of pandemic outbreak, the Railways have started training their staff to identify commuters with the corona symptoms and help them reach the hospital. However, the Heritage Museum at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus will remain closed for public till March 31.

Shivaji Sutar, the CR chief public relations officer, said they have instructed all the station masters and informed their platform staffs to actively identifying suspect cases.

“Station masters have been trained to spot symptoms of the coronavirus. They have been instructed to approach the passengers, showing corona-like symptoms and help them reach the nearest hospital,” he said.

The staff at the emergency medical rooms at the stations have been sensitised about the disease. If the employees spot a suspected patient at a station, they must inform the district collector.

“Passengers too can approach the station master or dial the railway helpline to report such suspected patients,” Sutar added.

Meanwhile, the WR has set up a dedicated ward of 30 beds for suspected cases at Jagjivan Ram Hospital at Mumbai Central, whereas the CR has set up isolation wards at its hospitals in Byculla and Kalyan. “Isolation wards and high-contact surfaces are being sanitised regularly with disinfectants,” said an an official.

Health inspectors are conducting awareness drives in railway colonies, offices and stations to prevent panic. Awareness campaigns to ensure hygiene for prevention of the virus infection are being carried out. But a commuter rights activist felt the steps were inadequate.

“Considering the travel conditions in suburban locals during peak hours, the disease could spread widely,” said Subhash Gupta, the National Railway Users Consultative Committee member.

Doctors said citizens using public transport need to take basic precautions. “Those travelling in public transport can adhere to simple cough-sneeze etiquettes, wear a mask and avoid touching their face or nose as preventive measures,” he said.

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