India-Bangladesh passenger train services between Kolkata and cities in the neighbouring country have been suspended from Sunday (March 15) as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, on a Union government directive, an Eastern Railway official said.
The Eastern Railway said services of Maitree and Bandhan Express trains will remain suspended from March 15 to April 15 or till further orders, whichever is earlier. “The services of the two trains have been suspended as precautions being taken to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus,” the ER official said.
While Maitree Express connects Kolkata with the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, Bandhan Express runs between Kolkata and Khulna city of the neighbouring country. The city-headquartered zonal railway has also undertaken programmes at its different divisions, including Sealdah, Howrah and Asansol, to spread awareness among passengers and staff on cleanliness and safe practices such as washing hands, cough etiquette and self-quarantine during fever.
“It has also set up isolation wards at its headquarter hospital at Sealdah and other divisional railway hospitals at Howrah, Asansol, Malda and railway workshop hospitals at Liluah, Kanchrapara and sub-divisional hospital at Andal,” the official said.
“Sanitisation of areas with high contact points such as entrance handrail of coaches and toilet door handles are being done at Asansol division as a precautionary measure,” he said.