RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has said the Pakistan Railways may resume its passenger train service from April 25 – which is likely to be the first day of the holy month of Ramazan – or from May 1, the first day of the new month.“The Pakistan Railways may run limited number of trains by maintaining social distancing among the passengers from April 25 or May 1,” Rashid said on Tuesday while talking to media after visiting a quarantine centre established at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU).
Last week, on April 13, Rashid had announced to keep passenger train service suspended till April 25. “A decision to resume the railways service on April 24 will be taken after approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Rashid has said in a video message.
The railways on March 22 announced to suspend its 42 trains in three phases that were to complete on April 1. According to the announcement, 12 trains were suspended on March 22; 22 trains on March 24 and 8 from April 1. The decision was taken in order to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Passenger train services shut across country till March 31
The railways minister said a unanimous strategy was required in the current circumstances.
“Provision of relief to the people, affected by the lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, is the government's top priority,” he said. The minister urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to release the violators of Section 144.
Talking with reference to the pandemic in the garrison city, he said six patients had lost their lives due to coronavirus in Rawalpindi.
“Out of 190 patients who were admitted in different hospitals 55 patients have recovered and discharged. We have six patients on ventilators," Rashid said while responding to a question about the facilities being extended to the patients suffering from deadly virus.
"Over Rs50.1 million has been donated by the Railways employees in the corona fund." He said his ministry has offered to set up quarantine hospitals on railway cars at Taftan and Torkham borders.
With additional input from APP