Select suburban train services in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) resumed on June 15 for essential services staff, over two months after they were suspended amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Maharashtra government has identified 1.25 lakh persons belonging to various essential services who stand to benefit from the resumption of the local trains.
The suburban train services will not be available for the general public.
Central Railway (CR) will run trains on the mainline and the harbour lines. Western Railway (WR) will run 73 pairs of suburban services including eight pairs between Virar and Dahanu Road.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Authorities have said that besides following the standard operating procedure and social distancing norms, checks will be put in place to ensure that only those involved in essential services and healthcare workers are allowed to travel.Railways will reportedly deploy Railway Protection Force (RPF)/ Government Railway Police (GRP) at various stations.
It has been decided to run selected suburban services over mainline and harbour lines w.e.f.15th June, 2020 with defined protocol & SOP, ONLY for movement of ESSENTIAL STAFF AS IDENTIFIED by the STATE GOVERNMENT. pic.twitter.com/QwFv0xPHx4— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) June 14, 2020
To maintain social distancing in the coaches, only 700 people will be allowed per train instead of the regular 1,200 per train, Mint has reported.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Railways will allow passengers to purchase tickets on valid municipal and state identity cards independently from the booking windows.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic