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People with serious ailments, pregnant women must avoid travelling on Shramik Special trains: Piyush Goyal

Recent cases of deaths on trains were due to pre-existing medical conditions, says the Railways Minister

May 29, 2020 01:26 pm | Updated 01:35 pm IST

Final journey: Officials carrying the body of one of the passengers found dead on a special train in Varanasi. PTI PTI

Final journey: Officials carrying the body of one of the passengers found dead on a special train in Varanasi. PTI PTI

Following a number of passenger deaths on Shramik Special trains, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that the “few unfortunate cases” were related to pre-existing medical conditions.

Mr. Goyal put up a Twitter post appealing to people “suffering from serious ailments, pregnant women and those above 65 years and below 10 years of age” to travel on Shramik Special trains only if necessary.

The Railways started running the trains from May 1 to ferry migrants stranded due to the nationwide lockdown. As per reported data, at least nine migrants have lost their lives while travelling on them.

“Indian Railways has been running Shramik Special trains on a daily basis throughout the country to ensure that migrants can travel back to their homes. It has been observed that some people who are availing this service have pre-existing medical conditions which aggravates the risk they face during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the post put up by Mr. Goyal said.

It added that a few unfortunate cases of deaths related to pre-existing medical conditions occurred while travelling.

“...Ministry of Railways makes an appeal that persons with co-morbidities (for example - hypertension, diabetes, cardio-vascular 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,” it said.

Stating that Indian Railways is working 24x7 to ensure that rail services are provided to all the citizens of the country needing to travel, the post added that the safety of passengers is “our biggest concern. So, we seek the cooperation of all citizens in this matter.”

As of May 28, the Indian Railways had operationalised 3,736 Shramik Special trains across the country, transporting around 50 lakh passengers to their home States.

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