The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is mulling at allowing fully COVID-19 vaccinated passengers to travel in local trains. The final decision is expected from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray soon.
The planned relaxations follow a change in guidelines for domestic passengers at the Mumbai Airport. Domestic passengers will now be exempted from carrying negative RT-PCR test reports when they enter the airport if they are fully vaccinated.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope too indicated that local trains would resume services if Maharashtra speeds up its vaccination rate. But the state needed more vaccine doses from the Centre to increase the vaccination rate, Tope said.
“If we want to bring the economy back on track, we will have to give utmost importance to vaccination,” Tope said.
While Tope added that districts have been brought under level-3, the trains have not yet fully started as a precaution. Currently, local trains are being used only by local government officials and state administration officials.
Random tests, mostly Rapid Antigen Tests, and tight surveillance are maintained on the trains, but BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal said tests will be impossible to conduct with the full passenger capacity.
"In the districts where the second dose is left, more attention will have to be paid. Attention will also be paid to the districts where the infection is high. Also, the districts which are lagging in vaccination will have to be taken forward," Tope added.