The Indian Railways, on Friday, appealed to people with co-morbidities, pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women, children under the age of 10 and those over the age of 65 to not travel on the Shramik trains.
The appeal of Indian Railways has come on various special Shramik trains after massive outrage over deaths. Indian Railways has claimed passenger deaths were due to pre-existing medical conditions.
"It has been observed that some people who are availing this service have pre-existing medical conditions which aggravate the risk they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. A few unfortunate cases of deaths related to pre-existing medical conditions while travelling has happened," the official statement stated.
On May 27, at least nine passengers on board the migrant trains were reported dead over a span of 48 hours, with the railways stating that they all had health conditions.
"In order to protect vulnerable persons from COVID-19, the Ministry of Railways makes an appeal that persons with co-morbidities (for example - hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, immune deficiency conditions), pregnant women, children below the age of 10 and persons above 65 years of age may avoid travel by rail, except when it is essential," it said.
It also said the railway family is working 24X7 to ensure that all citizens of the country needing to travel receive rail services. Helpline numbers are 139 & 138.
"We seek the cooperation of all citizens in this matter. In case of any distress or emergency, please do not hesitate to reach out to your railway parivaar and we will help you as always (Helpline number - 139 & 138)," the statement further said.
The Indian Railways had operated 3,736 Shramik Special trains throughout the country as of May 28, carrying around 50 lakh passengers to their home states.