Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday sought more stoppages at all major stations in the state for the special Rajdhani trains and preferred non air conditioned trains to prevent spread of COVID-19 infection during travel.
"We have requested the Railways to provide more stoppages in the state for the special Rajdhani trains as per the stops permitted for the regular Rajdhani Express", he told reporters here.
The state also wanted the stoppages in other states to be avoided to reduce the risk of exposure to passengers and run the trains as non stop services till it enters Kerala.
Only three stops -- Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram -- have been allotted to up/down trains to the state.
This, Vijayan said, would create immense difficulties for the passengers, especially in Kasaragod and Kannur, as they would have to get down at Mangaluruin Karnataka and travel inter-state.
Kerala has also requested Non air conditioned trains to ferry passengers as there was a possiblity of the infection spreading during the journey in AC trains.
Elaborate testing arrangements are being set up at the railway stations, Vijayan said, adding that there would be mandatory 14 days quarantine for those coming by trains.
As per the state government guidelines, those having a valid railway ticket for the journey to Kerala should apply for entry pass to the state in the COVID-19 jagratha portal.
Those not having it would be moved to institutional quarantine from the station itself.
At the entry station, there should be provision for health check up cubicles adhering to COVID-19 containment protocol, all luggage has to be disinfected at the stations and all officials should use prescribed PPEs and sanitisers.
Temperature checking must be carried out with Infra red flash thermometer.
Those coming by road should also have entry pass and they can choose the check post and day of travel according to the availability of slots through the portal.
The government has also made it clear that those reaching the check post without the pass would not be allowed to enter the state.
So far, over 33,000 people from other states have come to Kerala by road and 19,000 have reached the state from districts under red zones, Vijayan said.
Of the 1.33 lakh people who have applied for passes, over 72,000 are from red zones, he said, adding 89,950 passes have been issued so far.
Since seven people who had come from abroad on May 7 have tested postive, all the passengers who had travelled in the flight have been put under surveillance, Vijayan said.
DIG A Akbar has been appointed to oversee the security checking of those arriving by trains and SP rank officers as Special officers at all major railway stations.
At least 29,366 guest workers have left Kerala for their respective states in 16 trains,including nine to Bihar alone.