New Delhi, May 18: BEST buses continued to ply unaffected for essential service providers such as doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and police personnel on Monday as workers' unions withdrew their strike. The BEST Sanyukt Kamgaar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), an umbrella body of BEST workers' unions, had called for "stay at home" protest, demanding better safety measures for drivers and conductors. Mumbai's COVID-19 Tally Nears 20,000-Mark With 1,571 New Cases and 38 Deaths in Past 24 Hours.

However, the protest was called off and all BEST drivers and conductors reported to duty on Monday morning, reports said. On Sunday, BEST General Manager Surendrakumar Bagde, in a statement, assured that bus services ferrying doctors, nurses, policemen and other essential service providers would remain unaffected. Workers' unions had called a protest after eight BEST employees died due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

In all 120 BEST workers have tested so far positive for coronavirus and 50 of these have been discharged. However, these figures have been contested by the unions who say as many as 16 employees have died due to COVID-19. Coronavirus Live Tracker in India.

Call For Strike by BEST Workers' Union:

In view of the strike, 1,200 buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) were on standby. After the suspension of local train services in Mumbai on March 23, BEST buses have been the lifeline of the city ferrying all staff working in essential sectors such as hospitals, police, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 18, 2020 10:37 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website