In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Railways on Friday announced the suspension of operations of existing India-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses for one month from March 15. Issuing a notice, the Indian Railways said, "As per the advisory of MHA, the operation of existing India-Bangladesh cross-border passenger trains (i.e. Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) and passenger buses shall remain suspended during the period March 15 to April 15, 2020, or till further orders whichever is earlier."
The two trains- Maitree Express and Bandhan Express, connect India and Bangladesh. While the Maitree Express runs between the cities of Kolkata and Dhaka, the Bandhan Express connects Kolkata to Khulna city in Bangladesh. Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs had announced to suspend all the India-Bangladesh passenger buses and trains till April 15.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has soared to 88, while two deaths have also been reported, in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively.
India has suspended all visas, barring for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment apart, from keeping in abeyance the visa-free travel facility to OCI cardholders till April 15. Moreover, the Centre has “strongly advised” Indians to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. The government is also monitoring all suspected cases and issued preventive advisories.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel coronavirus has affected nearly 118 countries in the world. Presently, there are over 1,24,518 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of 4,607 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
(With ANI Inputs)