Pakistan is preparing to resume train services and allow public transport vehicles to operate under strict procedures to prevent any further increase in the deadly coronavirus infections in the country, according to a media report on Thursday.
Pakistan has started easing the month-long lockdown in a phased manner despite a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases which has now touched 35,788 infections with 770 deaths so far.
Pakistan Railways is preparing to resume its operations and will operate 28 trains in the first stage after the permission is granted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, The Express Tribune reported.
“Engine drivers and carriage staff have been instructed to remain ready to return to work. The trains will be washed after every journey,” the report said.
Earlier this month, the Pakistan Railways had announced its decision to partially restore its operations from May 10.
However, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid-19 turned down Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid’s proposal to partially resume train services.
After failing to garner support of all the provinces to resume train services from May 10, the minister has appealed to Prime Minister Khan to allow some trains to start with, vowing that all anti-coronavirus measures will be strictly followed.
The minister expressed hope that the prime minister would approve the resumption of train services before Eid-ul-Fitr, which would fall on May 25.
The district administrations have formulated the guidelines for ensuring social distancing and other precautionary measures in consultation with the transporters.
They have been forwarded to the government for approval, the report said.
Haji Zahoor Elahi and Asif Khan, leaders of the transporters association, told reporters that sanitiser walkthrough gates would be installed at bus stations and none of the passengers would be allowed to enter the bus stations without masks.
They said the passengers as well as the drivers and the conductors would be required to wear masks and gloves.
Passengers will be checked with thermal scanners before boarding buses and those suffering from any symptoms of Covid-19 will not be allowed to travel.
Buses would be cleaned with chlorinated water after every journey.
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