Kolkata: A passenger may not be allowed to board a long-distance train without a negative RT-PCR test.
This and some other important issues to combat the second wave of Covid-19 were discussed at a brainstorming meeting between the state government and senior railway officials at Nabanna on Monday.
Home secretary H K Dwivedi, health secretary N S Nigam and transport secretary R K Sinha attended the meeting on behalf of the state government.
The AGMs of Eastern Railway and South-Eastern Railway Aneet Dulat and Anupam Sharma represented the railways at the meeting that started around 11 am and continued for one-and-a-half hours.
The railways have been asked to prepare a draft SOP and submit it to the state government so that some additional guidelines can be formulated in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic. Sources in the state government said that the SOP adopted by the Maharashtra government may be followed here.
“The latter has made it mandatory for all passengers coming from Delhi NCR, Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand to procure a Covid-negative certificate to enter the state. A similar formula is needed for our state since we are now recording more than 8,000 positive cases a day. This way the influx of other variants of Covid-19 can be prevented,” a state official said.
“The railways and the state government may come up with a new set of rules, according to which passengers boarding long-distance trains may need to carry an RT-PCR negative test report with them. This test should be done within 48 hours of their train travel,” he said.
Among key issues discussed at the Nabanna meeting were sharing of data of passengers, migrant workers, and the number of EMU locals and long-distance trains being operated on both railway zones.
Railway officials said that the state government has told them that railway employees infected with Covid will have to be admitted to railway hospitals and not the state government hospitals.