The Centre on Tuesday extended the suspension of all railway services, except those carrying essential goods, until May 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced earlier in the day that the countrywide lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which began on March 25, would be extended till May 3.
“We have taken the decision keeping in view the extended lockdown period,” an Indian Railways official said according to PTI. “More updates will be available shortly.”
The Indian Railways added that no advance reservations will be allowed “until further notice”, The Hindu reported. “All counters for booking of rail journey tickets for reserved/unreserved travel at railway stations and outside railway station premises shall remain closed upto 2400 hrs of 3rd May 2020,” it said.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, meanwhile, said that all national and international flight operations shall remain suspended until 11.59 pm on May 3. India had suspended all incoming international flights from March 22, and all domestic flights from March 25. However, domestic cargo flights continue to operate.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri sought to pacify air passengers. “There were good reasons for the lockdown to be extended till May 3,” he tweeted. “We can consider lifting restrictions on both domestic and international flights thereafter. I understand the problems being faced by people who need to travel and request them to bear with us.”
There have been 10,363 cases of coronavirus in India so far, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 339 Covid-19 patients have died, 1,035 have recovered, and one person has left the country.