This comes at a time when the national transporter has already announced the cancellation of over 3,700 passenger locomotives and long-distance mail, express trains, that were scheduled to start their journeys on Sunday. The cancellation of trains came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for 'Janata Curfew' on that day.
Out of the 12, 8 people had travelled from Delhi to Ramagundam on AP Sampark Kranti Express on March 13, while the remaining four had travelled on Godan Express from Mumbai to Jabalpur on March 16. Other than this, two passengers were deboarded from Bengaluru to Delhi Rajdhani after being found that they were marked for mandatory quarantine.
Later, the Ministry of Railways asked people to avoid train travel and postpone all the train journeys through its official twitter account with a hashtag “NoRailTravel”. “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. Postpone all journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” it said. The Indian Railways operates around 12,500 trains on a daily basis – including 9,000 passenger trains and 3,500 mail express trains.
The four travellers of Godan Express who travelled in B1 Coach tested positive on Friday. They came to India from Dubai last week, the Railways tweet said. Sources said that Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav, who was present in a parliamentary panel meeting attended by the BJP MP Dushyant Singh, has taken precautionary measures needed for a second contact, as directed by a medical team. Dushyant Singh, along with his mother, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, had opted for self-isolation after attending a party with singer Kanika Kapoor, who was later tested positive for Covid-19.
The railways had said that all passenger trains originating between the midnight of Saturday-Sunday will not be run till 10 pm on Sunday. However, passenger trains that are already running will be allowed to continue the journey.
Among the measures implemented across all the zones include, steps to dis-incentivise non-essential travel, a proactive outreach and communication campaign and reduction in the number of trains with low occupancies.
Indian Railways has done this by pruning the categories of travellers who were entitled to avail concessions. Of 55 different categories which were entitled for concessions, only 23 sub-categories under patients, students and divyangjans are allowed to avail concessions for both unreserved and reserved segments now. Withdrawal of these concessions would especially benefit the senior citizens who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, said a statement by the Railways.