Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, Executive Director, Ministry of Railways, in a statement said, "No train except goods train will be run up to midnight hrs of March 31". The railway department had earlier cancelled all long distance trains till March 31, as part of COVID-19 prevention measure.
The Railway Board decision will impact all suburban lines - western, central, harbour and trans-harbour, that will now remain suspended from midnight of March 22 till the end of this month (March 31). The suburban train services being operated to the minimum on Sunday to comply with the Janata Curfew would be fully stopped from 12 a.m.
The Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 trains, which ceased to operate between March 20 and March 31. The cancellation will also include all originating long-distance Mail/Express and inter-city trains.
Trains that had already commenced their journey till 4 am on March 22 will be allowed to reach their destinations, the Railways said, adding that "adequate arrangements" will be made for passengers on such trains during their journey and at their destinations.
Meanwhile, in a relief to passengers, the Indian Railways has asked the passengers not to come immediately to the reservation counters to cancel their tickets and relaxed the refund period of cancelled tickets up to 45 days.
Taking to the official Twitter handle, Railways Ministry said, "8 passengers who had travelled on AP Sampark Kranti Express from Delhi to Ramagundam on 13th March have tested positive of COVID-19 yesterday".
Outbreak in India How bad is the outbreak in India?
Prior to Sunday's announcement, the Railways on Saturday cautioned people against travelling, cancelled more than 3,000 trains, relaxed refund rules, besides shutting down its museums and parks amid a spurt in coronavirus cases.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has now climbed up to 298, including 32 foreigners. The disease is caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.