The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Friday asked people to avoid all non-essential travel and said it will carry out random thermal screening of passengers at all stations to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India rose to 195 on Friday, according to the central government.
In an advisory, the metro authority announced that trains will not stop at stations which are overcrowded and have less than 1 metre of distance between passengers. A change in the frequency of trains plying on various routes is also expected, which they said will depend on the “exigencies of the situation”.
Urging all passengers to practice forms of social distancing at all times, the authority instructed that alternate seats be left vacant in every train. No passenger is allowed to stand while travelling, the DMRC said.
During thermal screening at stations, if anyone is found to exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus or has fever, they will be immediately referred to medical authorities for further testing or quarantine.
The Corporation requested all passengers to voluntary follow all instructions as listed in advisories issued by the health ministry diligently, and asked those who have symptoms of the COVID-19 to strictly avoid any mode of public transport. “Let us resolve to mitigate this global crisis and cooperate with the authorities to mitigate the spread,” it added.
Over the last few weeks, several states have virtually shut down in an effort to tackle the crisis. Educational institutions, and public spaces such as malls, gyms and swimming pools have been closed till the end of the month. The Central government has shut down all the monuments, museums and national parks. The Centre has banned passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia from entering India till March 31. It said that no international flights will be allowed to land in India from March 22 for a week. The government has also advised people to avoid non-essential travel and urged employees of private companies to work from home.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged citizens to face the coronavirus pandemic with collective determination and patience, to make sure that “humanity and India prevails”.
COVID-19 has infected more than 2,44,000 people and killed over 10,000, according to an estimate from John Hopkins University, which is live-tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources.