Indian Railways cancel 168 trains due to COVID-19, fear amongst passengers

Everyone is well aware of the novel coronavirus outbreak which has spread over 100 countries across the world. By far, the virus has affected over 2 lakh people globally and the global death toll has risen to at least 8,000.

Amid the rising tension over the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Railway has canceled 168 trains due to low occupancy. The news was confirmed by the Minister of Railways that these trains will remain suspended from March 20 to March 31. Railways assured passengers that there is nothing to worry about the virus, no need to panic and said that all passengers who will be affected by these cancellations will be informed individually.

Railways‘ decision is commendable to prevent the fast-spreading disease. Earlier, 11 trains were cancelled each from west central railway and northern railway, 20 each from south central railway and northeast frontier railway, 32 from southern railway, five from east central railway.

Railways on Tuesday had issued a set of guidelines under which All staff of catering needs to maintain hygiene. All staff is advised to wear a facemask and hand gloves, head gear, etc. Staff are advised to wash their hands with soap before serving food to passengers. “Avoid contact with people having cough or cold, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, hand gloves to be changed frequently and disposed off in closed dustbin,” they said.

Outsiders/unauthorised people should not be allowed to enter the food dealing area. All staff should follow the guidelines issued by the ministry of health. So far, there have been more than 150 confirmed cases of the virus in India as per the health ministry.

India is making all necessary efforts to prevent the fast-spreading disease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also urged his countrymen to avoid social gatherings as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with SAARC leaders on containing the deadly virus and extended $10 million as India’s contribution for a Covid-19 emergency fund. PM Modi made significant suggestions during the video conference.

Unfortunately, for now, there is no vaccination or cure available to help patients recover the deadly disease. So it is advised to take all possible precautions. People should avoid the area where coronavirus infection has been reported. Make sure that you keep yourself away from those who have coronavirus symptoms.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.