The Ministry of Railways on Friday urged people with serious ailments, comorbidities, senior citizens, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years to travel on Shramik special trains only when required.
The ministry in a statement said, "Ministry of Railways makes an appeal that persons with co-morbidities (for example - hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular 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."
The appeal came following reports of deaths on special trains. The statement further added, "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. A few unfortunate cases of deaths related to pre-existing medical conditions while travelling have happened."
The ministry also said that the railway family "is working 24x7 to ensure that rail services are provided to all the citizens of the country needing to travel" adding that "safety of our passengers is our biggest concern. So, we seek the cooperation of all citizens in this matter. In case of any distress or emergency please do not hesitate to reach out to your railway parivaar and we will help you as always (Helpline number - 139 & 138)."
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also made a similar request to passengers on Twitter. "I appeal to people suffering from serious ailments, pregnant women & those above 65 years & below 10 years of age to travel only when necessary in Shramik Trains," Goyal tweeted.
The appeal from Indian Railways comes days after nine people reportedly died on-board Shramik Special trains being run for ferrying stranded migrants in parts of the country in the wake of coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Railways has been operating Shramik Special trains on a daily basis throughout the country since May 1.