Coronavirus outbreak: More hand-stamped people turn up on trains

Updated: Mar 20, 2020, 07:18 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

17 travellers who arrived from France, Germany, Singapore, Dubai and Thailand deboarded at various stations from express trains

Authorities take the temperature of passengers at CSMT. Pic/ Ashish Raje
Authorities take the temperature of passengers at CSMT. Pic/ Ashish Raje

Hand-stamped travellers prescribed home quarantine after being screened at the airport are proving to be a headache for public transport authorities, as 17 were found on various long-distance trains on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the first such incident on Wednesday. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has vowed strict action against those found ignoring the rules.

The passengers had arrived from Germany, Thailand, Dubai, France, and Singapore and were headed to various parts of India.

A Western Railway spokesperson told mid-day, "Six passengers with 'home quarantine' stamps on the back of their hands were found in the Saurashtra Express that left Mumbai Central at 8.20 am. They were deboarded at Borivli station from compartment B-1 and B-2. The onboard train staff alerted the control room and doctors were sent to attend to the patients."

Five who came from Thailand were deboarded at Palghar from the Kutch Express on Thursday evening. Whereas, on the Rajdhani Express, the TTE (Travelling Ticket Examiner) was alerted about three hand-stamped passengers who had arrived from Dubai and three from France. They were deboarded at Surat at 7.51 pm.

Besides, one hand-stamped woman was prevented from boarding the Indore-bound Avantika Express from Mumbai Central.

On Wednesday, four passengers travelling to Surat on the Garib Rath were deboarded at Palghar station and sent to a civic hospital. They had arrived from Germany and sent to 'home quarantine'.

Activists and citizens have said that the government should provide ambulances to such patients to end these instances.

Ketanbhai Shah of Central Railway Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee said, "I will request the state administration to consider providing ambulances to such people, instead of just stamping and letting them go."

Jitendra Gupta of the Mumbai Transport Forum said, "Yes, this is obligatory. If they are unable to provide ambulances, the state government must make them stay in a quarantine centre."

3 foreigners quarantined

Three foreigners who travelled in express trains were quarantined at the SevenHills Hospital after being classified into the low-risk Category C of the pandemic on Thursday.

A 64-year-old Canadian national arrived at CSMT via the Manglore Express after having stayed in Gokarna for two months. Two Britons, aged 56 and 66 years, arrived at CSMT in the Kokan Kanya Express on Thursday. They were to take a flight to London on Friday.

No shutdown for rly

An essential service, railways won't be affected by the janata curfew planned up till Sunday evening. While Mumbai's railway officials said they will participate in the curfew, being an essential service, railways will continue to run so that emergency services can function normally without getting affected.

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