Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday requested the Ministry of Railways to inform the state in advance when special trains are allotted and to share the details of the passengers with it.
According to the CM, a special train from Mumbai left for Thiruvananthapuram on May 22, without the knowledge of Kerala officials. Following this, Pinarayi Vijayan wrote an e-mail to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
The CM said that it was essential to have the list of passengers, details regarding their address, where they will be staying and telephone numbers, among other details. He added that in the absence of these details, it would adversely affect the government's fight against COVID-19.
Information about the passengers was needed to make arrangements for health check-up, their onward journey and quarantine facilities, the CM pointed out in the email.
Over 88,600 people have so far reached Kerala from other states through trains, flights, and via road. Of this, a total of over 3,000 people came through special trains alone. Over 76,000 people came to the state through the road, crossing six inter-state borders.
The state had been witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases over the last few days, with a huge proportion being people who returned from other states and countries. On Saturday, 62 new cases were reported, which is the highest reported in Kerala so far. Of the 62 people, 42 persons came from other states.
The number of people under observation has also shot up in the state. Over 90,000 people are in home quarantine, while 668 persons are admitted to hospitals following symptoms.
As on Saturday, 795 people have so far tested positive for coronavirus in the state. Of this, 275 persons are presently under treatment. While 515 people have recovered so far, Kerala has also witnessed the death of five patients who were tested positive for coronavirus.
Palakkad and Malappuram have the highest number of patients currently under treatment, with 44 active cases each in both the districts.
(With inputs from PTI)