The Indian government has restored limited train services to help counter ongoing reports of dangerous overcrowding and confusion at stations around the country.
According to reports out of India, around 200 scheduled train services will resume today allowing up to 150,000 people to travel daily.
It will be the first major increase in trains to run on India’s huge network of railways since the prime minister shut down the system in late March to help counter the spread of COVID-19.
The number of passengers now allowed to travel, however, remains a tiny fraction of the 25 million passengers the Indian train network typically carries on a normal day.
Hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak with just under 200,000 confirmed infections and around 5,400 reported deaths, India remains in lockdown over large areas, with social distancing in the nation of 1.4 billion people an ongoing issue faced by the government of Narendra Modi.
Some anticipate the real number of COVID-19 cases in India to be much higher.
In opening up the limited services, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly issued guidelines to enable social distancing measures to take place at stations, and only those with confirmed, pre-paid tickets will be allowed to board trains and travel.