Transport ministry asks states to minimize citizens' travel

Road transport and highways ministry on Tuesday asked all states to look at ways to minimize citizens’ travelling across the country, to contain the spread of coronavirus infection. It also urged them to initiate refund in case passengers have already booked road journey tickets. “To minimize travel numbers, public may be advised through appropriate means to avoid the same if it is not unavoidable and a facility of extending refund be considered where passengers have and done their bookings,” it said in a letter to all transport commissioners and principal secretaries of all states and union territories.

The ministry also asked them to take necessary steps to ensure the creating awareness regarding ‘social distancing’. “Appropriate publicity be made intimating that at this stage when we can control the spreading of the novel coronavirus by adopting various precautionary measures,” it said. The central and state governments have been on a war footing to contain the outbreak, which has left three people dead so far and infected more than 150 across the country, with recovery of as many as 14 patients.

Huge public gatherings have been barred in several states. Schools, colleges, cinema halls, malls, gyms, spas, among others, have been shut till 31 March in most of the states. Besides, several trains have cancelled apart from a travel ban place to and from select nations.

As of Wednesday, there were more than 2,00,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world since the first one was reported in Wuhan, China, in December.

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