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. It asked people to postpone all journeys to avoid contracting the highly contagious virus.
"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.
Railways has found some cases of Coronavirus infected passengers in trains which makes train travel risky.— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) March 21, 2020
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. #NoRailTravel
The railways tweet comes on a day when coronavirus cases in India rose to 283, including four deaths, according to the Health Ministry's website as at 5 pm.
Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 52, including three foreigners. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope made a fresh appealed to avoid public transport to contain the spread and warned of tougher measures, having already asked offices and shops to close.
The East Central Railway has requested all possible help from the Bihar government for making special arrangements to screen passengers coming to Bihar by trains from Mumbai-Pune region.
The state government has protested to the railway authorities, saying the move would create sudden pressure on health authorities.
No trains will run on Sunday, when the entire country would observe the "janata curfew" announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trains that are already running before Sunday but are due to reach their destinations will not be stopped, the railways said on Friday.
The railways also said that eight people who travelled on the AP Sampark Kranti train on March 13 have tested positive for coronavirus. It added that a couple was taken off the Bengaluru-Delhi Rajdhani train on Saturday after co-passengers spotted a quarantine seal on the husband's hand.