Bring your own blanket, railways tells passengers amid coronavirus scare

Woolen blankets will be supplied only on demand to the passengers of AC coaches, the railways said

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Railway workers disinfect the coaches of train in wake of coronavirus pandemic at New Delhi Railway Station. Photo: PTI

In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the Indian railways Saturday (March 14) ordered withdrawal of blankets and curtains from AC coaches as they are not washed every day.

However, woolen blankets will be supplied only on demand to the passengers of AC coaches, the statement read.

Other items in the bed roll, including bedsheets, towels and pillow covers, are washed every day.

“This change in the blanket facility is for a period of the next one month or till further notification,” the statement added.

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“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 In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, blankets and curtains will be immediately withdrawn from service till further orders.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 told PTI.

The Central Railway has also instructed its personnel to intensively clean coach fittings as they are touched by thousands of passengers every day. These fittings include grab handles, door handles, door latches, entry door handles, seat guard, snack trays, window glass, window grill, bottle holders, upper berth climbing stair, electrical switches, charge points etc. They will be cleaned with disinfectants, an official said.

“Doorway and gangway areas, frequented by passengers, are being cleaned with hot water. Intensive cleaning, including steam cleaning, will be ensured in pantry cars. “All curtains in AC coaches, and roller blind fabric in trains like Tejas, will be removed in four to five days,” he said.

The official said liquid soap, napkin rolls and disinfectant chemical will be provided to passengers by the housekeeping staff on board. “In AC coaches, attendants have been told to not recirculate used linen. They have been advised to maintain a vigil for any passenger with cold-cough symptoms and segregate the linen items used by such passengers,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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