The Railways has cancelled 85 trains as precaution against the spread of coronavirus and due to low occupancy, officials said. It has also issued a set of guidelines to zonal railways for its catering staff stating no employee having fever, cough, runny nose or difficulty in breathing "should be deployed in the business of food handling on Indian Railways".
According to officials, the central railways cancelled 23 trains, south central railways cancelled 29 trains, western railways cancelled 10 trains, south eastern railways cancelled 9 trains, east coast and northern railways cancelled 5 trains each, and north western railways cancelled 4 trains.
The Railways till Tuesday has decided to cancel total of 85 trains to “contain the effects of Coronavirus” till March 31. The Central Railway zone has cancelled 23 trains including long distance trains such as the Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express from Mumbai to Delhi and Mumbai to Howrah Duronto Express, among others. 35 trips of 10 trains stood cancelled by the Western Railways, 29 by South Central Railways, 9 by South Eastern Railways, 5 by Northern Railways, 4 by North Western Railways and 5 by East Coast Railways.
As a precautionary measure railway zones like WR and CR have also increased the prices of their platform tickets to discourage large crowds.
"All staff of catering units should be directed to maintain personal hygiene as per the food safety norms/standards of FSSAI," the guidelines stated.
"All staff to wear a facemask and hand gloves, head gear etc while dealing with food production and services to passengers, staff be advised to wash their hands with soap frequently, avoid contact with people having cough or cold, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, hand gloves to be changed frequently and disposed off in closed dustbin," they added.
It also said that all supervisors deployed in catering establishments be directed to maintain personal hygiene and impart counselling to their subordinates in this regard.
"All staff deployed in food production and services should wash their uniforms on daily basis and wear clean uniforms on duty, it said.
"Maintenance of proper cleanliness, use of disinfectant on frequently touched objects and surfaces like billing machine, POS machines, coffee machines, counter top, door handles, table, chair, fridge handles, stall frames by using a regular household cleaning spray like Lizol, Dettol, Colin etc," it said.
Adequate provision of hand soap and sanitisers at all catering units must be ensured and intensive/thorough cleaning of all catering units must be done on a daily basis.
The order stated that proper packaging of food items must be ensured and usage of loose items should be avoided as far as possible.
"Strict prohibition of entry of outsiders/unauthorised people in food dealing area should be ensured. All staff to pay proper attention to advisories/guidelines issued by ministry of health, FSSAI and local health departments of central and state governments from time to time and ensure compliance thereof," the guidelines said.
(With PTI inputs)