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Free buses for migrant workers travelling to railway stations

By Shrinivas Deshpande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 29, 2020 11:34 PM IST

After guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) on Friday announced that no ticket fares will be charged from migrant workers taking buses to city railway stations to travel to their home states.

Manoj Varade, a spokesperson for BEST said, “The Supreme Court on Thursday directed that no fare for travel either by trains or buses should be charged from migrant workers stranded across the country and they must be provided with food and water. Hence, BEST has decided to offer free service to migrants from Friday.”

Earlier, BEST was charging for dropping migrant workers at the railway stations.

Meanwhile, BEST achieved 54.5% recovery rate on Friday, with 10 staffers getting discharged in a single day, said officials.

Data released by the undertaking on Friday states that of the 259 BEST staffers who have tested positive so far, including nine fresh cases reported on Friday, 140 have recovered of Covid-19 and have been discharged. So far, there have been eight deaths of BEST staffers due to the novel coronavirus.

“As compared to others [government undertakings], till date we have managed to control the spread of the virus among our staffers. We are the only public undertaking which has managed a recovery rate of over 50%. There were around eight fatalities, but we are working to reduce the spread,” said Dr Anil Kumar Singhal, chief medical officer, BEST.

About 80% of the staffers currently under treatment are now asymptomatic or only have mild symptoms. BEST administration is confident that many more patients will be discharged soon and the recovery rate will increase. However, three staffers were admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 10 staffers, on oxygen beds, were in critical condition.

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