At least nine passengers were reported dead on May 27 within 48 hours on board Shramik Trains for Migrant workers. And therefore, the Indian Railways has urged people not to travel on Shramik special trains if they are suffering from pre-existing medical conditions. In a press release, Ministry of Railways said, “It has been observed that some people who are availing this service have pre-existing medical conditions which aggravate the risk they face during the Covid-19 pandemic. A few unfortunate cases of deaths related to pre-existing medical conditions while travelling have happened.”
It further mentioned, “In order to protect the vulnerable persons from Covid-19, in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs… Ministry of Railways makes an appeal that persons with co-morbidities (for example – hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, immune deficiency conditions), pregnant women, children below the age of 10 years and persons above 65 years of age may avoid travel by rail, except when it is essential.”
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also tweeted about the same. He posted on Twitter, “I appeal to people suffering from serious ailments, pregnant women & those above 65 years & below 10 years of age to travel only when necessary in Shramik Trains. Railway Parivaar is committed to ensuring safety of all passengers.”
Indian Railways started Shramik special trains since May 1 every day across the country for thousands of migrant workers stranded in other states.
Railway Ministry has also issued Helpline number – 139 & 138 so that people can reach out to railway authorities in case of emergency.