Tiruchi railway workshop employee tests positive for COVID-19, stores section shut

An office superintendent employed at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi has tested positive for COVID-19, necessitating the shutting down of the stores section he had been working in, as a precautionary measure.

A few employees working in the same section and who had come into contact with the office superintendent have been asked to remain in 14-day quarantine. Disinfectants have been sprayed in the stores section which has been shut for three days, as a temporary measure.

The employee had last reported to the office on July 3 and his relative serving in the wagon shop within the sprawling workshop campus has also been asked to be in quarantine as a precautionary measure. This is the second COVID-19 positive case at the railway workshop which has been functioning with full strength of around 3,500 employees, both technical and administrative, since early June following the lockdown relaxations announced by the State government.

The 80-year-old workshop, which had remained completely shut since March-end when the lockdown was clamped to prevent the spread of COVID-19, was reopened for core activities in early May with 33 per cent attendance. Subsequently, the workforce strength increased to 50 per cent and in early June, it began to functioning with full a workforce.

The authorities said core activities at the workshop such as periodic overhaul of broad gauge passenger coaches and diesel locomotives, besides overhaul of steam locomotives of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway were continuing.

The workshop has been adhering to the standard operating procedure stipulated by the Central government with employees provided with hand sanitisers and masks besides ensuring physical distancing at the workshop, Chief Workshop Manager Shyamadhar Ram told The Hindu on Monday.

A workmen special train was being operated by the Tiruchi Railway Division from Thanjavur to Tiruchi and back everyday exclusively for those workshop employees who resided at Thanjavur and neighbouring places.

“All employees entering the workshop are being screened using rapid thermal scanners which sound an alert if anyone has a high temperature. The equipment, fixed to a pillar, is connected to a computer inside a room at the entrances, for monitoring by the Railway Protection Force personnel deployed at the gates,” he said. The rapid thermal scanners have been fixed at the Armoury Gate and the West Gate entrances of the workshop. Plans are afoot to install two more at the other entrances of the organisation.

The workshop, with several shops inside, has dispatched 112 broad gauge passenger coaches after carrying out periodic overhaul since May. The coaches were sent for periodic overhaul from various railway divisions within the Southern Zone after the workshop was reopened.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:08:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi-railway-workshop-employee-tests-positive-for-covid-19-stores-section-shut/article32000356.ece

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