'Postpone train journeys,' says Railways Ministry amid coronavirus scare
After twelve passengers who recently traveled by two different trains were tested positive for coronavirus, the Railways Ministry has advised people to avoid train journeys. The Ministry on Saturday asked people to postpone all journeys to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The development comes as the total number of coronavirus cases in India surged to 283 on Saturday.
The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Railways posted on Saturday evening, "Railways has found some cases of Coronavirus infected passengers in trains which makes train travel risky. Avoid train travel as you may also get infected if your co-passenger has Coronavirus." The tweet added, "Postpone all journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. #NoRailTravel."
Railways has found some cases of Coronavirus infected passengers in trains which makes train travel risky.— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) March 21, 2020
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. #NoRailTravel
Out of the 12 coronavirus-positive passengers, eight had traveled from Delhi to Ramagundam on AP Sampark Kranti Express on March 13. Four others had traveled from Mumbai to Jabalpur on the Godan Express on March 16. They had arrived in India from Dubai last week. Further, on Saturday morning, two passengers marked for mandatory quarantine were deboarded from the Bengaluru-Delhi Rajdhani train at Secunderabad.
No trains will run on Sunday when the entire country will observe the 'Janata Curfew'. Starting Sunday, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will shut its food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan Aahars and cell kitchens, to prevent the spread of the disease. The South Western Railways has hiked platform ticket prices from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 to prevent overcrowding at stations.
As of 4:45 pm on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry had confirmed 283 positive cases of COVID-19, including foreigners. Out of these, 22 have been discharged after recovery. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state, with 60 confirmed cases. Five deaths have also been reported including four Indian nationals in Kalaburagi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pathlawa village (Punjab), and one Italian tourist in Jaipur.
COVID-19 was first reported in China's Wuhan city in December 2019. The disease is caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus attacks a host's respiratory system triggering symptoms such as fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it may cause pneumonia, multiple organ failure, or death. COVID-19 has spread to at least 150 countries, killing over 10,000 and sickening 2.5 lakh.