After 50 days of suspension of its passenger operations due to COVID-19 lockdown, the Indian Railways will gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12 initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.
As India enters the last week of the third phase of the lockdown, which is scheduled to end on May 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold another meeting with state Chief Ministers via video-conference on Monday afternoon at 3 pm. This will be his fifth meeting with CMs to discuss the post-lockdown strategy. The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases has neared the 63,000-mark including 2,109 deaths and 19,358 recoveries. Of the 62,939 cases, 41,427 are active. Earlier today, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had appealed to all states to permit the operation of migrant special trains so that the stranded can reach home in the next three to four days. “As per the directions of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji, Railways is fully geared up to run 300 Shramik Special trains everyday at short notice since the last six days,” he tweeted.
Globally, there are over 4 million coronavirus cases, with deaths exceeding 2,79,000. Former President Barack Obama harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” during a conversation with ex-members of his administration. Boris Johnson will unveil a virus alert system, similar to the color-coded terror-threat scale, in a Sunday address to Britain that will set out some conditions for removing restrictions on the economy.