Indian Railways has cancelled all the passenger trains till March 31 as the number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 324. "In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19, it has been decided that cancellation of all passenger train services on Indian Railways and Konkan Railway shall be extended till 31 March," the Railway ministry said in a statement. The goods trains will remain functional during this period.
Around 12,000 trains will affected. Indian Railways operates around 9,000 passenger trains and 3,000 mail express services daily. "Trains which commenced journey before 4 am, Mar 22, to complete journey," the statement added.
Indian Railways earlier announced to not charge any cancellation fee for the cancelled trains in the view of coronavirus pandemic. Train passengers will get 100% refund for these cancelled trains. Railways also eased refund rules for passengers who had booked tickets to travel between March 21 and April 15. Anyone can for apply for their refund till June 21
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At least 12 people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 travelled in trains between March 13 and 16, the railways said today.
"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," the railways tweeted.
Two more people died due to COVID-19 infection, taking the total number of death toll in the country to six. Maharashtra has so far reported highest number of coronavirus cases at 63.
The railways also said that eight people who travelled on the AP Sampark Kranti train on March 13 have tested positive for coronavirus.
"Railways has found that 4 passengers travelling on Godan Express (Train 11055) from Mumbai to Jabalpur on 16th March in B1 Coach have been tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.They came to India from Dubai last week. All concerned have been alerted to take necessary action," tweeted the Railways ministry.