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India to Restart some Passenger Trains

Monday 11 May 2020

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India announced a limited re-opening of its giant rail network beginning on Tuesday after a nearly seven-week lockdown, despite also reporting its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases.

The announcement late on Sunday of the restart of some train service came on the same day India’s coronavirus infections jumped by 4,214, the most ever, to 67,152.

The shutdown, which has been repeatedly extended to stave off a surge in infections, is in force until May 17. Ahead of that, though, the railway ministry said it would gradually restart passenger services with 15 trains from Tuesday, connecting Delhi to Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other big cities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced increasing calls to end his government’s stringent lockdown of the nation’s 1.3 bln population, with political parties, businesses and citizens saying the containment measures have destroyed the livelihoods of millions that rely on daily wages for sustenance.

Passengers taking the trains that will start up on Tuesday will have to wear masks and undergo screening at the stations, a government official said.


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