The Indian Railways is prepared to face the threat of the highly contagious Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said today. The coronavirus can be transmitted between people who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The coronavirus is threatening to the railways since thousands travel on crowded train coaches every day.
"The railways are spreading awareness on the coronavirus. We are paying attention to attention. We have set up isolation wards at railway hospitals," Mr Goyal said today.
The total number of people infected with coronavirus has climbed to 78 in India. Many other who show symptoms of having contracted the coronavirus have been told to stay at home at least for14 days, the period during which the symptoms could grow real.
The government has suspended all non-essential visas to India till April 15 to minimise the risk of the coronavirus from spreading fast.
On the railways' policies, Mr Goyal told the Lok Sabha that his ministry has been taking action against touts. He said private agents are no longer needed when most people can book tickets on mobiles.
Those who need help can go to "common service centres" which are run by government, he said.
The touts used to book tickets in large numbers within moments of their availability using certain software, he said, adding his ministry has taken action against them.