Railways clarifies on reports of resumption of train services

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/railways-clarifies-on-reports-of-resumption-of-train-services-11586512114996.html

NEW DELHI :
The Ministry of Railways today issued a clarification stating that it has not yet finalised dates of resumption of train services. Unless extended, the 21-day coronavirus lockdown will end on April 15.

“During the last two days, there have been some reports in media about various protocols etc of prospective travellers by trains. They have also been mentioning about number of trains starting from a given date. Final decision regarding above matters is yet to be taken,” the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.

“‪For the post lockdown rail travel, Railways would take best feasible decisions in the interest of all stake holders including its prospective passengers. ‪As and when a decision is taken, all concerned would be intimated about it,” the government said.

The railways has suspended all passenger, mail and express train services from March 24 to April 14 to combat the spread of Covid-19 as part of nationwide lockdown. Only freight and special parcel trains are operational to ensure the supply of essential items across the country.

In the meantime, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today chaired a meeting with state health ministers via video conferencing to review actions on COVID-19 management.

“I request health ministers of all states to ensure that lockdown is followed 100% in your respective states. If we lag behind in this, it will be difficult for us to win this fight against Covid-19,” said the Union Health Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states via video conferencing on Saturday, amid indications that the central government may extend the lockdown across the country beyond April 14 after several states have favoured the extension to contain the fast-spreading virus. The 21-day lockdown, announced earlier to check spread of coronavirus, ends next week.

This is for the second time the prime minister will interact with the chief ministers via video link after the lockdown was announced on March 24.

A meeting of the Empowered Groups of Officers, to tackle the challenges emerging as a result of spread of COVID-19, was held today under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister. The meeting was the latest in a series of periodic reviews at various levels by the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor the ongoing efforts to counter the impact of the pandemic.

According to a Health Ministry update this morning, the death toll due to COVID-19 has risen to 199 in India. The total number of coronavirus positive cases have climbed to 6,412.

Maharashtra is the worst-hit state after recording over 1,360 positive cases. Tamil Nadu comes second with 834 cases.

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