Ahead of the ‘Janata curfew’ in the country tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday appealed to people to stay in whichever city they are in and avoid non-essential travel to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister noted how several people are rushing back home over fear of the virus, and urged them to stay where they are and avoid crowded places as it may increase the chances of the virus spreading.
“I appeal to my brothers and sisters who are moving to their villages over fear of the coronavirus to stay where you are for the next few days. Traveling in crowd increases the risk of the virus spreading. It puts at risk the people from your villages, and will add to the difficulties of your families,” he said.
Panicked over the extraordinary decision of the Indian Railways to stop its services across the country from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday, several people, mostly migrants working in cities, are rushing back home.
The Prime Minister today cautioned people that they are “threatening their health and others’ by assembling in crowds at railway stations and bus stops” and urged them to avoid non-essential travels. The total number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India has climbed to 283, including 22 who have recovered and four deaths, the Health Ministry said in its latest briefing.
With many trains being cancelled in the wake of Janata Curfew, the Indian Railways, earlier today, decided that if it cancels a train, booked passengers can claim full refund within 45 days instead of the current rule of three days from the date of journey.
On Thursday, the Railways had cancelled 84 more trains between March 20 to March 31. “All passengers having tickets in cancelled trains are being informed about it individually. No cancellation fee will be taken for these trains. Passengers will get 100-per cent refund,” an official said.
All concessions, except those to students, patients and disabled, in Indian Railways have also been suspended to discourage non-essential travel. This means that all other train concessions, like senior citizens, farmers, war widows, VIPs, delegates, etc. stand suspended for now.
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