CHENNAI: Even as the Union government is yet to take a call on extending the lockdown, Southern Railway has begun disinfecting coaches travelled by coronavirus-infected persons. Last week, two persons who attended the religious congregation in Delhi tested positive for COVID-19 in Chennai.
During scrutiny of their travel history, it came to light that they had travelled to Chennai by Tamil Nadu Express. Following this, the Grand Trunk Express, Tamil Nadu Express and other weekly express trains operated from the State to North India were disinfected completely. The coaches are disinfected based on procedures laid down by the Railway Board and inputs received from the Health Department, said coaching depot officials in Chennai.
“Interior of the coaches was cleaned intensively. Followed by this, toilet door handle, latches, water taps, hand rails, doors and switches were also disinfected with sodium hypochlorite. The seats were also cleaned with disinfectant,” A senior official of Southern Railway said. Also, the linens distributed in the coaches travelled by infected persons were washed separately. “The onboard employees who came in contact with suspected passengers are kept under observation,” added the official.
“There is a likelihood that travellers who came in contact with the infected passengers may have boarded the train at en-route stations. Hence, all the daily and weekly trains which were operated from Northern States between March 18 and 21 have also been disinfected,” explained the official. The coaching depots of Southern Railway at Egmore, Tambaram, Villupuram, Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchy, Thoothukudi, Rameswaram, Tirunelveli and Erode are engaged in similar cleaning exercise.
The linens distributed in the coaches travelled by infected persons were washed separately. The employees who came in contact with suspected passengers are under observation