Over 20 passengers of the Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express have been quarantined after a co-passenger received a text message, while still on board the train on Sunday, that his COVID-19 test has returned positive officials said.
The man immediately informed COVID control room authorities that he had tested positive, scaring his co-passengers who overheard him saying this on phone, they said.
The 48-year-old man, who works at a battery making factory in Noida, boarded the Dehradun-bound train from Ghaziabad on Sunday afternoon despite the fact that his COVID-19 test report was awaited, Haridwar GRP Station House Officer (SHO) Anuj Singh said on Monday.
The man hails from Shyampur in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh town.
The passenger, who was travelling on board the Jan Shatabdi Express, had received a text message telling him that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
The man was admitted to the isolation ward of the Mela Hospital in Haridwar after he deboarded the train, Haridwar Chief Medical Officer Saroj Naithani said.
Twenty-two of his co-passengers are in institutional quarantine in the town, she said.
Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar, however, said, “He (the man) has been sent to a hospital while 19 others have been sent to a quarantine facility.”
After the man got the message, he informed the control room through a toll-free number that he had tested COVID-19 positive. He made the call when the train was nearing Roorkee in Haridwar district.
Officials said that the man was asymptomatic.
The railways has asked authorities in Ghaziabad as to how a person who had given his sample for testing was allowed to board a train.
The man’s samples were taken for testing at the factory in Noida and ideally he should have been restricted from any travel and kept in quarantine till his reports arrived, the officials said.
SHO Singh said it is being investigated as to how the man whose swab samples had been sent for testing from Noida two days back was allowed by his company to travel and how he boarded the train.