The Indian Ministry of Railways has announced that the suspension of passenger railway operations will be extended until 3 May due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

This measure is a continuation of the previous suspension of railway operations announced last month.

This suspension includes the Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail and Konkan Railway among others.

However, the ban does not apply to cargo trains to ensure that necessary supplies reach different parts of the country.

The ministry has also closed bookings for any tickets, including e-tickets, until further notice. However, the online cancellation option is still operational.

The passenger reservation and unreserved ticketing system counters for booking tickets will also be closed.

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Passengers will be provided a full refund online for the tickets that were booked online for cancelled trains. Passengers will also receive the refund up to 31 July for tickets booked across the counters.

On 14 March, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown of the country until 3 May. The country was on a 21-day lockdown since 25 March to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Last week, state-owned Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) announced that it suspended the operations of the three Tejas trains until 30 April.

India has also planned to use train coaches as Covid-19 isolation wards in response to the growing number of cases.

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has so far reported around 9,756 active cases in the country and 377 deaths.

The pandemic has so far killed more than 126,700 and infected over 1.98 million people worldwide.