COVID-19: Zones Outline Plans and Measures Being Taken by Indian Railways to Limit Spread

The Indian Railways deals with millions of passengers crisscrossing the country on a daily basis. Here’s a look at how various Indian Railways units are preparing to limit the risk of the COVID-19 corona virus disease.

Eastern Railway’s initiatives to stop spread of COVID-19

Eastern Railway is continuing the awareness building programme through IEC (Information, Education & Communication) and other initiatives to stop the spread of NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).

 In ER’s Malda Division leaflets for protection of COVID- 19 are being distributed to passengers by DRM /Malda. Public announcement for protection from NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) at Railway stations and other Railway premises is also continuing. Disinfection/sanitization of train coaches are also continuing at Malda and Bhagalpur coaching depots.

Howrah Division also continuing awareness-building programme and other initiatives to stop the spread of COVID-19. Awareness about NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) and proper hand wash procedure being provided by OBHS personnel. Also, OBHS personnel are doing disinfection enroute.

Sanitization and disinfection being done covering snack tables, seat handles, lavatory door handles, tap, soap container, flushing valve, main door handle etc. in coaching depots of ER’s Howrah Division, to stop the spread of NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).

Similar awareness building and preventive measures have been taken in all other Divisions (Asansol & Sealdah Divisions) and workshops (Jamalpur, Kanchrapara & Liluah workshops) of ER.

As a precautionary step to prevent spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), an Isolation Ward (for Fever cases) is fully operational at Eastern Railway HQ Hospital (B.R. Singh Hospital), Sealdah, Kolkata. Similar Wards are functioning at ER’s Divisional Railway Hospitals of Howrah, Asansol and Malda & Railway Workshop Hospitals at Liluah, Kancharapara & Sub-Divisional Hospital at Andal. Pathology Laboratories are also been activated for the purpose.

One Centralised COVID-19 Control, with Rly. Phone No., DOT Phone No. & Mobile Phone No. is functional at Zonal HQ Hospital (B.R.Singh Hospital), Sealdah, Kolkata which are as follows: RAILWAY LANDLINE: 32803, BSNL: 033- 23606713. MOBILE No: 9002020845

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) actions against COVID-19 spread

To further check the possibility of spreading Corona Virus; Indian Railways has decided to immediately withdraw blankets and curtains that are provided in AC coaches from service till further orders. Only the bed sheets, pillow covers and hand towel will be given.

However, blankets will be kept with attendant and to be given to passengers only on demand. As according to existing norms, curtains and blankets provided in AC coaches are not washed after every trip, these may become a source of infection through contact. Passengers can bring their own blankets for their journey as it will be in their own interest and hygienic. Additional bed sheets are being kept in AC coaches for any exigencies. Temperature inside AC coaches will be adjusted suitably as per requirement.

Accordingly, NFR has also withdrawn the provision of blankets and curtains in air-conditioned coaches of all trains that are being operated to prevent spreading of novel Corona Virus with immediate effect till improvement in situation.

It may be mentioned here that special emphasis on frequent disinfection of coaches are being given in coaching depots under all the five divisions of NFR. Sanitizing of all critical areas of mass contact in all the coaches are being done after the rake is released from Pit examination and washing. Dedicated team has been deployed to carry out this task.

A drive is also on since last week to create awareness of the COVID-19 disease among passengers and people in general in local languages. Announcement in local languages are being made through Public Address system in all stations and posters depicting Dos and Don’ts are being displayed in all stations and trains. Videos showing the precautions to be taken are being played in stations where such facilities are available. We appreciate the role of our passengers in containing the spread of the pandemic Corona Virus.

N.F. Railway takes measure to deal with spread of Corona Virus

N.F. Railway has taken all possible measures to tackle the spread of the deadly Corona Virus within its jurisdiction. Chairman, Railway Board and all the General Managers of different Zonal Railways are personally monitoring the steps taken to create awareness and prevention of the disease as per guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India, as crores of passengers including foreign nationals travel daily by using Indian Railways as mode of transport.

As awareness is the key to stop the spread of the disease; NFR is taking various steps to make rail users aware. NFR has already taken the following steps:

Ø Regular announcement in local languages are being made through Public Address system in all stations.

Ø Posters in various languages depicting the Dos and Don’ts for protection from the virus are displayed in prominent locations like railway coaches, railway stations, railway colony, market, school, offices, hospitals etc where substantial numbers of people gather each day for work and journey.

Ø Videos showing the precautions to be taken are being played in stations where such facilities are available.

As a matter of preparedness; NFR has already taken the following steps:

Ø Medical control rooms are already in position at designated hospitals within the operational area of NFR. Details of such hospitals with contact numbers of doctors have been circulated through various media including social media.

Ø 1122 bedded isolation ward facilities have been kept ready in different hospitals in the jurisdiction of NFR for keeping the patients in quarantine in case of any suspicion.

Ø Hand sanitizers are being distributed amongst our frontline staff who normally come in contact with public frequently.

Ø Passengers are being informed to contact with TTE or Station Master for necessary medical assistance if they feel sick during travel with symptom of disease.

Ø Railway authorities are in close contact with the nodal authorities of State Govts for close coordination.

However, it can be mentioned here that, as of today, there is no confirmed or suspected case of Corona Virus reported in the entire jurisdiction of N.F. Railway.

East Coast Railway (ECoR) has initiated several measures against COVID-19

 ·         Control Rooms and Telephone Helplines have been set up at important places over ECoR jurisdiction and the staff have been sensitized and educated.

·         Massive Awareness Campaigns launched at Railway Stations and in Trains

·         Blankets and curtains being removed from AC coaches as an extra precaution to keep safe and guard against possible spread of any infection. Extra bed sheets will be provided on demand. This is an additional safeguard.

East Coast Railway has geared up its entire machinery in a big way to take comprehensive measures on prevention of Corona COVID 19 virus infection. It has directed the Railway Medical Wing and Divisional Railway Managers to ensure that adequate prevention measures are put in place across the zone.

Control Rooms have been set up at important places over ECoR System and the staff have been sensitized and educated about the subject. The collaboration and coordination with the concerned health authorities is also being ensured.

Following action has been taken to guard against Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

a.         Information, Education, & Communication (IEC) material (posters, banners and pamphlets) regarding corona virus (COVID-19) are being prominently displayed for awareness of passengers and general public in local language at railway stations and in trains and are also being distributed to patients visiting hospitals, Railway colonies, Health units, hospitals and office buildings. Audio and video clips are being played at railway stations to spread awareness. Public announcements are being made at stations.

 b.         In Railway hospitals, Persons with fever are being separated from other patients. Separate counters/wards with specific signage for fever cases have been established. Medical staff has been deployed at such areas having proper protective gears.

c.         Railway hospitals have been provided with isolation beds for fever related cases for treating suspected Corona virus cases with availability of necessary protective gears. Further, Railways has identified specific beds for quarantine at different locations across the country.

d.         Medical staff have been advised that if any patient of Corona virus disease is suspected or reported in any of the Railway Hospital/Health Unit over ECoR System, the same may be informed to local health authorities immediately.

e.         All medical in-charges have been advised to be in constant touch with the respective State Authorities to obtain the guidelines/updates issued on the subjects and take necessary detection, prevention & curative measures suggested by such State Authorities.

f.          Control Rooms and Telephone help lines have been set up at all Railway hospitals.

g.         The Isolation/Quarantine Centre beds in the Railway premises would be utilised in consultation with local State Administration, whenever needed.

h.         Health Education Camps have been conducted in Railway settlement to create awareness among Railway beneficiaries.

i.          Training has been imparted to all health care workers regarding the preventive strategies.

j.          Ten bedded Isolation wards, equipped with drugs and lifesaving equipment, earmarked in Central Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Divisional Hospitals at Khurda Road, Sambalpur and Visakhapatnam for suspected COVID cases.

k.          Blankets and curtains being removed from AC coaches as an extra precaution to keep safe and guard against possible spread of any infection.  Extra bed sheets will be provided on demand. This is an additional safeguard and a sanitizing measure.

L.         Special emphasis on continuously disinfecting coaches and toilets.

m.        Cleanliness and sanitation in station areas and Railway colonies being strictly monitored.

Central Railway (CR) Proactive Measures Against COVID-19 Infections

Central Railway’s pro-active measures to protect its Passengers against COVID-19 infections.

There is an imperative need to take precautions/ preventions, in Coaches which are frequented & utilised by a number of passengers in wake of the COVID-19 issue. The following specific precautions/ focussed attention in Coaches/ Maintenance depots is taken:

(A)         During Coach Maintenance:

           1.        All coach fittings such as grab handles, door handles, door latches, entry door handles, seat guard, snack trays, window glass, window grill, bottle holders, upper berth climbing stair that are frequently touched by passengers, electrical switches, charge points, Dustbins are being intensively cleaned using disinfectant.

           2.        Special focus is being given to intensive cleaning of toilets, including wash basins, Toilet Seat with Hot water jet cleaning for better efficacy.

           3.        Doorway/ Gangway area, frequented by passengers are being thoroughly cleaned with Hot water (using the mechanised cleaning equipment wherever available).

           4.        Pest/ Rodent control measures wherever needed is being intensified.

           5.        Intensive cleaning including steam cleaning will be ensured in Pantry Cars.

(B)         Interior Furnishing Related:

           1.        All curtains in AC coaches will be removed in next 4-5 days.

           2.        Wherever roller blinds are installed (such as Tejas, IAC windows) the rolling-down cloth/ fabric roll will be removed, instead of the entire roller blind assembly.

           3.        OBHS (On Board House-Keeping Staff) gang is sufficiently provided with liquid soap, napkin rolls so that the same can be adequately replenished, as needed during the journey. OBHS will also be provided with sufficient disinfectant chemicals & they are being instructed + monitored by the supervisors for frequent service especially toilet + washbasin cleaning & dustbin clearance.

(C)        Linen Related:

1.        Blankets:

a.   NEW (unused) blankets will be provided replacing the older blankets immediately.

b.  At Laundry: With an Immediate effect, ALL BLANKETS will be put through a High temp soak in the tumble dryers of the laundries. The high temp soak, raises the temperature to 75-80 deg C. This high temp soak can be supplemented by UV light immersion.

c.   The Temp setting in AC coaches will be set to summer settings of 23-25 deg C. However, if any passengers (Sr. citizens, Children) still need blankets. Only such passengers will be provided with Blankets only when demanded.

d.  ALL blankets, used by passengers will be segregated in separate linen bags.

e.   ALL blankets used by passengers should be put through Hot Temp soaking (Point (a), above) before being distributed again.

f.    Blankets, provided in I AC, as per usual practice are provided with covers, even those covers will be washed after every usage of the blanket.

2.        Other Linen Items:

a.  AC linen attendants are strictly counselled against recirculation of used linen.

b.  Special attention is given to segregation of stained hand towels & their washing.

3.        General precautions/info concerning Linen:

a.  Linen attendants are advised to maintain a vigil for any passenger with cold/ cough symptoms AND segregate the linen items used by such passenger. Such linen items will be separately washed & put through a hot temperature soak cycle.

b.  To educate/ communicate to the customers, a notice/ sticker stating “In order to ensure personal safety & hygiene, blankets are ordinarily not being distributed with bedroll. Customers who still need the blanket, may please approach the Attendant” will be displayed in AC coaches.

The staff/supervisors/officers should ensure the above measures, while taking adequate prevention on themselves. Depot supervisors & Officers during rake checks/ examinations & laundry inspections will frequently check compliance of the above measures. These above measures will be ensured for at least a month (till 15/04/2020 or till further notice).

Central Railway takes comprehensive measures for prevention of Corona Virus (COVID-19) infection

Central Railway has geared up its entire machinery in a big way to take comprehensive measures on prevention of Corona COVID 19 virus infection.  The situation is being constantly monitored and coordinated at all levels on Central Railway. Control rooms have been set up and the staff has been sensitized and educated about the subject. The collaboration and coordination with the concerned health authorities is also being ensured.

Following action has been taken by Central Railway for prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

a.       Information, Education, & Communication (IEC) material (posters and pamphlets) regarding corona virus (COVID-19) have been prominently displayed for awareness of general public in Marathi, English and Hindi languages at railway stations and in trains. Audio and video clips are being played at railway stations to spread awareness. Public announcements are being made at stations and in trains.

b.       Railway hospitals at Byculla, Kalyan, Bhusaval, Solapur, Nagpur and Pune have been provided with isolation wards for treating suspected Corona virus cases with availability of necessary protective gears.

c.      Medical staff have been advised that if any patient of Corona virus disease is suspected or reported in any of the Railway Hospital/Health Unit, the same will be informed to Railway Board and local health authorities immediately.

d.       All medical in-charges of hospitals have been advised to be in constant touch with the respective State Authorities to obtain the guidelines/updates issued on the subject and take necessary detection, prevention & curative measures suggested by such State Authorities.

e.         Awareness is being disseminated through various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. and Print and Electronic Media as well.

f.          Station staff have been sensitized about corona virus (COVID-19) for necessary action immediately.

Call 24×7 control room number +91-11-23978046 or email at [email protected]

East Central Railway Lists out Plans to Battle COVID-19

GM/ECR instructed to undertake measures with immediate effect to prevent and contain the spread of Coronavirus

Shri L.C. Trivedi, GM/ECR has instructed to undertake following measures with immediate effect to prevent and contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and safety of passengers travelling in train.

  1. All Divisions to clean the inside of the coaches and sanitize them with a suitable disinfectant like lysol in 2% dilution during every primary maintenance.
  2. Disinfection of EMU and DEMU coaches to be started during night maintenance
  3. Cleaning staff of major stations have been instructed to disinfect various passengers contact surfaces like benches, chairs, washbasins, bathrooms, door knobs etc.
  4. Hand Rails, Doors, windows, chains, snack table and all such items of coaches need to be cleaned regularly.
  5. Adequate quantity of Liquid Soap in coaches has to be ensured.
  6. Remove all curtains from all AC coaches*.
  7. Daily fogging of trains.
  8. Daily fogging of all the pit-lines

 These actions are being taken with immediate effect as a precautionary measure.

Western Railway Withdraws Blankets from AC Coaches Among Other Measures

As per the extant instructions, curtains and blankets provided in AC coaches are not washed every trip. In order to prevent spread of COVID-19 blankets and curtains should be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders.

Passengers should be advised to bring their own blankets in their own interest. Wide publicly should be given to this effect. Some quantity of additional bedsheets may be kept for any exigencies.

Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) Working With K G Hospital to Battle COVID-19

On taking precautionary measure against spreading of NOVEL CORONA VIRUS(COVID-19) and its quarantine, the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works(CLW) authority has mobilised various activities with assistance from K. G. Hospital.

Posters on DOs & DONTs on CORONA VIRUS are being displayed in different parts of Chittaranjan including K. G. Hospital & offices. To further quarantine the suspected patients, an isolation ward of 18 beds has been organised in K G Hospital.

Southern Railways Launches Massive Awareness Campaign and Preventive Measures Against COVID-19

Southern Railway has launched a massive awareness campaign to fight the threat of Coronavirus outbreak.  A host of preventive measures also have been put in place. Amongst other measures, disinfectants are sprayed on the exterior and interiors of all the coaches/EMUs/MEMUs of the primary maintenance trains of Southern Railway. Railway staff working in the areas of customer interface have been advised to adhere to requisite precautions. Audio announcement and videos are played on regular basis to create awareness about precautionary measures against COVID-19.

As part of these initiatives and in view of the advisory from Railway Board, *Southern Railways has withdrawn the supply of woolen blankets to AC coach passengers.*  Southern Railway has commenced the removal of curtains in all classes of AC coaches.  Pillows, Pillow covers and  bed sheets will continue to be supplied.  AC passengers with reserved accommodation will also be intimated through SMS about the change in the supply of blanket facility. This change in the blanket facility is for a period of next one month or till further notification.

Passengers are requested to cooperate with the Railways to take the preventive measures and make their own arrangements for blanket during the journey.

South Western Railway Sets Up Help Desks at Stations Among Other COVID-19 Measures

In view of orders issued by State Government and Corona virus being declared a Pandemic by WHO, SWR has setup Special Medical help Desks at Important stations to curb the spread of this infectious virus.

To alert and educate passengers, SWR has setup special Medical Help Desks Hubballi, Mysuru, Bengaluru, Vasco-do-gama, Vijayapura, Belagavi, Gadag, Ballari, Hosapete, Alnavar and Bagalkot stations.  These Help desks are being managed by paramedical staff with the help of scouts and guides. Training of paramedical staff for preparedness to tackle Covid-19 infection has been imparted and is being updated, based on guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, time to time.

At major stations of Bengaluru division, frontline staff are being trained and some help desks will be made operational in two, three days.

To create awareness of this infectious virus among the rail users, more than 600 posters both in English and Kannada have been displayed at entrances and important places at the Railway Stations. Pamphlets printed in English and Kannada are being distributed to the public on precautions to be taken against spread of virus and importance of maintaining personal hygiene. Audio and video clips are being played on public announcement systems and through LED/LCD video wall screens for awareness and precautionary measures.

Necessary information regarding Dos and Don’t to be observed to protect oneself and others from spread of Corona virus is  being disseminated through, posters, leaflets, banners, announcements and video clips at stations, trains, offices, other prominent locations and social media.

Awareness programmes on COVID-19 to the frontline staff including Railway Protection Force  staff are being organized  to deal with suspected cases on identifying  symptoms of Corona virus.

 Front line Employees in high contact areas like booking offices, enquiry counters, Traveling Ticket Examiners   have been instructed to use masks, if necessary. 

Information on Covid-19 and arrangements of medical facility centres available with helpline numbers has been shared to the frontline staff and they have been advised that if any case is suspected or detected, it should be brought to the notice of the District Medical authorities for follow-up.  

Ticket checking staff have been advised to direct such cases to nearest Hospital or contact on All India 24×7 helpline number 011-23978046 set up by Central Govt for any assistance. 

Exclusive isolation wards at Central Hospital/Hubballi with 16 beds and at RH/MYS with 10 beds have been made operational for treatment of patients with symptoms of Corona virus. The isolation ward at Central Hospital/Hubballi was inspected by District Commissioner, District Surveillance officer and District Health Officer of Dharwad.  Quarantine beds at RPF Barracks at Hubballi were also inspected by the District Surveillance officer and the facilities prepared to provide treatment were well appreciated by State Health Authorities.

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