The Indian Railways has asked the passengers to bring their own blankets for their journey in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, saying it will be in their own interest.
The Western Railway PRO (Public Relations Officer) said that curtains and blankets provided in AC coaches will be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
“According to the existing instructions, curtains and blankets provided in AC coaches are not washed after every trip. In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, blankets and curtains will be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders,” said the PRO.
The official further said that additional bed-sheets will be kept for any exigencies.
“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 bed-sheets may be kept for any exigencies,” said the PRO.
The Western Railway also posted a tweet regarding this, saying: “Kindly note that it has been decided to withdraw curtains and blankets from AC coaches of trains as they are not washed every trip, for prevention of coronavirus. Passengers may please bring their own blankets if need be. Inconvenience is regretted.”
South Eastern Railway and East Coast Railway also withdraw blankets in AC coaches
Earlier on Saturday, the South Eastern Railway (SER) and the East Coast Railway (ECoR) said they decided to withdraw the provision of blankets and curtains in air-conditioned coaches of all trains they operate as part of its preventive measures against the coronavirus outbreak, PTI reported.
SER spokesman Sanjay Ghosh said that the temperature of the AC coaches will be set suitably so that passengers do not require blankets. He, however, said blankets will be provided on demand.
Ghosh said the withdrawal of blankets to passengers and curtains will be in effect immediately and will continue till further orders.
A similar statement was also issued by the EcoR in Bhubaneswar, saying blankets and curtains will not be provided in AC coaches to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.
The ECoR further said that they are also carrying out a drive to create awareness of the COVID-19 among passengers and people in general in local languages at railway stations, trains and hospitals. Special emphasis was on frequent disinfection of coaches and toilets.