Indian Railways has announced that it will gradually restart passenger train operations in the country from 12 May.

Earlier this month, the Indian Ministry of Railways suspended passenger railway operations until 17 May due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Indian Railways will initially operate 15 pairs of trains, which account to 30 return journeys. The trains will be operated as special trains.

The trains will start from New Delhi Station and connect Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.

Following this, Indian Railways will operate additional services on new routes after determining the availability of trains.

It reserved 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centres and around 300 trains are operating ‘Shramik Special’ trains daily to aid stranded migrants in other states.

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Passengers can book the tickets on the IRCTC website from 4pm local time on 11 May. Ticket booking counters will be closed at the railway stations.

Passengers with valid tickets will be able to enter the station and have to wear face-covering and undergo screening. Passengers who do not exhibit the symptoms of Covid-19 will be permitted to board the train.

Last week, the Government of India selected 215 railway stations to deploy the isolation coaches of the Indian Railways as ‘COVID Care Centres’.

In March, India announced plans to use train coaches as Covid-19 isolation wards in response to the growing number of cases in the country.

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has so far reported 44,029 active cases in the country and 2,206 deaths.