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Take a note, Indian Railways passengers! Those arriving in the state of West Bengal by train must carry their COVID-19 negative RT-PCR report. The announcement was made by Indian Railways on Thursday citing an order from the chief secretary of West Bengal. According to a PTI report, West Bengal is the latest to join various other states which have already made it mandatory for railway passengers to carry their covid negative RT-PCR tests to get entry into the state. An order was issued by the Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government, stating that incoming passengers by long distance trains as well as inter-state buses will also mandatorily carry their negative RT- PCR test reports of COVID-19.
The national transporter stated that no West Bengal-bound traveller is expected to board a bus or train with destination in West Bengal without a negative RT-PCR test report. In this regard, random checking will be done, for inter alia, also reviewing the authenticity of the covid test reports, Indian Railways said quoting the order from the West Bengal state government. The state, which was in election mode with the results of the Assembly poll being announced on 2 May 2021, has reported a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the last few days.
Meanwhile, Indian Railways has cancelled several special train services. Multiple special train services have been running across the Indian Railways network since last year when due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all passenger train services were suspended by the government. According to the Railway Ministry, some of these special trains were running with low occupancy. Therefore, the ministry has decided to discontinue some of the special train services till further advice due to low occupancy and other operational reasons. Some zonal railways like Northern Railways, Eastern Railways have already announced cancellation of several trains from this month onwards.