In a bid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, only government personnel engaged in providing essential services would be allowed to travel by local trains in Mumbai from Sunday night, a release by the Konkan divisional commissioner said on Saturday night.
The restriction, which will effectively shut down the train services, Mumbai's lifeline, will come into effect from the midnight of Sunday, March 22, the release said.
Apart from government officials involved in the provision of essential services (who will have to produce their ID cards), only those who need urgent medical aid would be allowed to travel by local trains, said the release by divisional commissioner Shivaji Daund.
Those who are travelling by local train to reach the railway terminus for boarding long-distance trains will also be allowed on local trains but on inspection of their journey tickets.
Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said the government would be compelled to shut down the local train services and other modes of public transport if the crowds did not thin.
Maharashtra has recorded 64 cases of coronavirus so far, including 19 in Mumbai.
Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters.