Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to take the crucial decision today on suspending Mumbai local trains, for a few days.
The step is being considered as a precautionary measure of 'social distancing' to prevent the further spread of novel coronavirus, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Tuesday.
The state cabinet will consider the matter in a meeting as the government does not want to let the COVID-19 outbreak to go from 'Phase II' to Phase III'.
The decision is also likely to impact other public transport modes like Mumbai Metro and Monorail, which could bring the entire city on its knees, paralysing India's commercial capital.
"There are options -- like fumigating all train coaches, limiting the number of commuters to the seats available in each bogey to avoid crowding -- being considered other than completely stopping the local train services," Tope said.
The metro local trains ferry a total of 8.5 million commuters on a daily basis between Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts. It sprawls across Central Railway plus its Harbour line and Western Railway.
Maharashtra has so far reported 38 coronavirus cases, the highest in India. The state on Tuesday reported the death of a 63-year old man with travel history to Dubai, the third coronavirus related death in the country.