Railways stop supplying blankets in AC coaches: passengers asked to carry their own
Fear of the Coronavirus spreading has finally forced Railways to admit that blankets are not washed every day. Western Railway asked passengers to carry their own blankets in future
The growing panic about the spread of Covid-19 has prompted Indian Railways to order withdrawal of blankets and curtains from AC coaches as they are not washed every day.
Other items in the bed roll, including bedsheets, towels and pillow covers, are apparently washed every day, claimed the Railways..
“Kindly note that it has been decided to withdraw curtains and blankets from AC coaches of trains as they are not washed every trip, for prevention of Coronvirus Passengers may please bring their own blankets if need be. Inconvenience is regretted. , tweeted Western railway
“As per the extant instructions, curtains and blankets provided in AC coaches are not washed (after) every trip. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, blankets and curtains will be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders.
“Passengers will be advised to bring their own blankets in their own interest. Some additional bedsheets will be kept for any exigencies," Western Railway spokesperson Gajanan Mahatpurkar said
“Passengers will be advised to bring their own blankets in their own interest. Some additional bedsheets will be kept for exigencies”, added Mahatpurkar.
The deadly coronavirus, which originated in China has engulfed many countries in the world. Claiming approximately 6000 lives worldwide and infecting more than 1.5 lakh people.
The viral respiratory disease has a firm hold in many states of India which has affected 107 people and killing two.
Amid an expeditious spread of the new coronavirus the railway authorities in Mumbai have started disinfecting local trains, which carry around 80 lakh suburban commuters everyday, as well as long distance trains.
According to the Central Railway (CR), all the coach fittings, including grab handles, door handles, door latches, entry doors, window grills, electric switches and other parts inside local trains as well as outstation trains are being cleaned using disinfectants.
"In order to ensure cleanliness and hygiene, especially in view of the Covid-19 advisory, special efforts are being put in during primary maintenance of coaches at the coaching depots of CR," an official statement said.
The CR officials said that they were also focusing on cleanliness of outstation trains.
An intensive cleaning and disinfection of toilets is also being ensured, they said.
The railway authorities said that on board cleaning staff has been counselled for frequent en-route cleaning in coaches. Topping up of liquid handwash soap on board is also being ensured in outstation trains.
Linen cleanliness is also being ensured with laundries and coach attendants asked to ensure availability of fresh linen to customers, the CR said.
"The coaching depot maintenance staff and other staff have been counselled to be careful towards personal hygiene and take guard against infections," the CR read.
All curtains in AC coaches will be removed within next 4-5 days, railway officials said.
"Special focus is being given to intensive cleaning of toilets, including wash basins, toilet seat with hot water jet cleaning for better efficacy," the CR said in the statement.
It also said that old blankets will be replaced with new ones immediately.
"All the blankets will be put through the high temp soak in the tumble dryers of the laundries. The high temp soak raises the temperature to 75-80 degrees. This can be supplemented by UV light immersion," it added.
Railway authorities have also announced to set the temperature at AC coaches to summer settings of 23-25 degree Celsius.
A Western Railway (WR) spokesperson said that in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 blankets and curtains shall be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders.
"Passengers have been advised to bring their own blankets. Some quantity of additional bedsheets may be kept for any exigencies," the official said.
(With PTI inputs)