The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 11 issued a standard operating protocol (SOP) for the movement of people by trains. The guidelines have come a day ahead of the limited resumption of passenger train operations by the Indian Railways.
The order noted that the movement of trains will be allowed in a graded manner by the Railway Ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
To enter the station, passengers are required to have confirmed e-tickets. The confirmed e-ticket will also allow for the movement of the passenger as well as the driver of the vehicle taking the passenger to and from the railway station.
Before entering or boarding the trains, all passengers will be compulsorily screened and only those who are asymptomatic will be allowed to continue their journey.
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.
Passengers are required to wear face covers and masks at the entry and during their travel duration, while hand sanitiser will be made available at the station entry and exit points as well as in the coaches. Observing social distancing norms at all times is also mandated.Once they arrive at their destination, passengers will be required to adhere to health protocols as prescribed by the respective states and union territories.