4.3 lakh frontline railway staffers to get shots

MORE THAN 4.3 lakh railway employees have been selected to receive the coronavirus vaccine as part of the country’s frontline work force. They include station masters, engine drivers, security personnel, ticket checkers and trackmen.

After discussions with the Health Ministry, Railways started compiling a list of its frontline staff. More than 30,000 railway employees have so far contracted Covid-19 and around 700 have died from it.

With freight train operations in full swing and passenger train services getting back to pre-lockdown levels, it was decided to insulate the critical staff of the national transporter engaged with public interface work as well as backroom operations such as maintenance from the virus.

The majority of the shots will be received by commercial staff associated in public interface work such as ticket checking. Around 36,000 station workers, including station masters, are on the list. More than 70,000 are inspectors, ticket checkers and others who are on trains and stations.

Around 70,000 are from the Railway Protection Force, while 41,000 loco pilots and 44,000 assistant loco pilots will get the vaccine. This apart, 8,000 trackmen and around 6,000 shunters have also been identified. Healthcare staff of the Indian Railways will also be insulated. Around 32,000 health workers and around 5,000 contractual staff are on the list.

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