Hyderabad: The Indian Railways is scrambling to provide information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled in five trains between 13 to 19 March along with people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, many of whom have tested positive for Corona virus. The five trains are the Duronto Express to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, the Grand Trunk Express in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Express to Chennai, New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express, and the AP Sampark Kranti Express.
The Railways does not have the actual number of people who could have come in contact with those who participated in the event but sources said each train carried about 1,000 to 1,200 passengers, putting them at risk.
State officials have said the Railways is providing the list of passengers to the district authorities which will be compared to the list of participants of the event to start contact tracing. Meanwhile, contact tracing is on to track down people who travelled by the AP Sampark Kranti Express in which 10 Indonesians, who attended the event which ended on 13 March, had travelled to Karimnagar and subsequently tested positive.
The district authorities are also scrambling to find the whereabouts of around 60 passengers who travelled in the New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express in the same B1 coach as a Malaysian woman who tested positive and is believed to have taken part in the Nizamuddin Tablighi gathering. The woman who travelled on the train on 16 March along with 23 others tested positive and is Jharkhand’d first positive case. According to inputs from states, two people who attended the congregation and later tested positive travelled by the Duronto on 18 March in S8 coach along with two companions. Two people travelled by the Grand Trunk Express in S3 coach with two minors, while a couple of others took the Tamil Nadu Express.
The contact tracing process has become a herculean task for both the Railways and the district authorities because these people moved around freely at the time since it was before any restrictions were imposed.
Both Hazrat Nizamuddin and the New Delhi Railway stations are one of the busiest stations in the country. While Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi sees 56 long-distance trains departing every day and 130 trains from other railway stations halt there, 62 trains originate at the New Delhi Railway station every day and 76 trains halt there. While the former has a footfall of about two lakh every day, the latter has a footfall of around 5 lakh.