Other States

‘No plans to halt suburban train travel’

Lakhs of commuters travel daily to Mumbai in local trains.

Lakhs of commuters travel daily to Mumbai in local trains.

Despite rising COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, the Maharashtra government is not planning to halt the suburban train travel, which is used by lakhs of passengers daily to commute to Mumbai from suburbs and neighbouring areas such as Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad and Palghar. The government has however hinted at tightening restrictions.

The State government clarified that it has no plans of bringing restrictions on inter-district travel, neither it plans to impose a lockdown. It also ordered work from home for police personnel above 55 years. Deans of medical colleges have been asked to hire contractual doctors if medical professionals get infected with the virus, to ensure that services are not hampered.

Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday held a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar which was also attended by Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Tope said the State government had no plans of imposing a lockdown. “There is no plans of lockdown as of now. All we are talking about now is to tighten restrictions. But even that will happen only after the meeting and approval from the Chief Minister. We have only discussed about weekend lockdown and night curfew. But there is no decision of imposing it,” he said.

The government, however, accepted that apart from citizens, a number of police personnel and medical professionals are being infected with COVID-19, which could affect health operations. “We had done this in the previous wave as well and we are doing it again. We have asked all police personnel above 55 years to work from home,” said Mr. Dilip Walse-Patil.

Booster shots

Meanwhile, Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh on Thursday held a meeting of the department in the wake of reports of doctors from State-run medical colleges and hospitals getting infected with COVID-19. “Apart from ensuring availability of beds for patients and medicines, it is important to safeguard the safety of heath workers. We have begun the process of delivering booster shots to them but there are reports that many doctors too are falling ill due to COVID-19. We have given instructions to hire doctors on contracts if necessary, but not to slow down medical operations,” said Mr. Deshmukh.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 9:23:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-plans-to-halt-suburban-train-travel/article38161642.ece