In an unprecedented move, the Indian Railways has decided to cancelled all passenger train services across India till March 31 to stop the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). The decision, taken by Prime Minister’s Office Sunday, follows a string of meetings that started Saturday at various levels of Railways helmed by the Railway Board.
However, the movement of goods trains will continue to ensure the supply chain of essential products is not disrupted.
The decision taken on Sunday includes the cancellation of suburban trains, like local services in Mumbai and elsewhere, and the Metro service in Kolkata.
Earlier the decision was to cancel 3,700 long and short distance trains only for the time of the Janata Curfew between 7 am and 9 pm Sunday. Now, bare minimum of locals and Metros will run for a few hours after 9 pm Sunday and then stop operations from midnight.
The decision, sources said, was taken to prevent community transmission of the novel coronavirus. With the outbreak intensifying and businesses shutting shops, there had been a scramble at railway stations in big cities with migrants trying to take trains to go to their villages.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday urged people to not travel as this could help spread the virus in the villages of India.