The Ministry of Railways has announced its decision to detrain all the passengers travelling in a coach even if one or more passengers show symptoms of Covid-19 infection. The notice comes in the wake of Railway's decision to start wider passenger services with 200 non-AC trains from June 1 with more number of stations.
Railways to detrain passengers
According to the sources, the new notice comes on behalf of the reports that indicated positive coronavirus cases on passengers who reached their destinations utilising the special train services.
Based on this, the Railway Board on Wednesday, May 20 wrote to the General Managers of Zonal Railways to detrain all the passengers and empty the coach for cleaning, if even one of the passengers show symptoms to the viral infection.
In addition to this, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was issued on disinfecting and sanitising the coach with soap as well as sodium hypochlorite solution immediately if any Covid symptomatic passengers are identified. Intensive cleaning is also made mandatory to the AC coaches in the SOP.
"In the event of a passenger or passengers being found infected with Covid-19 or showing symptoms, the train would be stopped at the next major station and all travelling public in that particular coach or coaches would be detrained," said a senior Railway official to the media.
Trains to be detained in station while cleaning
Although, no instruction on accommodating the detrained passengers in other coaches was issued by the Ministry. Also, according to another official, the train will be detained in the station itself until the cleaning procedures get completed.
Once the coaches were sanitised, the passengers who were neither infected nor showing any of its symptoms would be allowed back on board before the train resumes its journey.
Meanwhile, in case of the air-conditioned coaches, said the notice, all the passengers will be issued of fresh linen. However, the railways had earlier announced that no linen would be provided in the Rajdhani Express trains that are operated between New Delhi and major cities across the country.
Meanwhile, the booking services for the 200 non-AC passenger train services have begun through the IRCTC website from Thursday, May 21.