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Land transport operators take measures against COVID-19

Land transport operators take measures against COVID-19
With the coronavirus becoming a global pandemic, land transport authorities all over the world are taking the necessary measures to ensure the health and well-being of staff and passengers.
With the coronavirus becoming a global pandemic, land transport authorities all over the world are taking the necessary measures to ensure the health and well-being of staff and passengers.
Needless to say, the coronavirus or COVID-19 has deep ramifications across different sectors. One of the most affected industries is transportation, where people feel more and more concerned about taking public and mass transit. To protect staff and passengers and increase public confidence, many land transport operators have taken precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the disease.
One such operator is AMTRAK, which offers rail services in the U.S., which, at the time of this article, has 3,777 confirmed cases of infection and 69 deaths.
In a statement, AMTRAK said: “To reduce risk, we have increased the frequency of cleaning services on our trains and at our stations to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis. We have increased the use of disinfectants to wipe down handrails, doorknobs, handles and surfaces. We have increased the quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees on our trains and stations. We are regularly sharing best practices with employees and customers on ways to protect against communicable diseases.”
As for passengers, they can play a part too, AMTRAK said. “Wash hands frequently with soap and water – and for 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer,” it said. “When sneezing or coughing, use tissues and promptly dispose of them or cover your mouth with your sleeve or elbow.”
For bus operators, they are increasingly cautious as well as they service municipal residents going from one place to another.
The “CityLink” mass transit serving Peoria, Illinois, said: “All CityLink buses and facilities, including the transit center, are being sanitized and deep cleaned daily with EPA-approved products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Peoria City/County Health Department. Additionally, all CityLink fixed route buses are equipped with hand sanitizer for passengers to use, and the transit center is equipped with three hand sanitizer stations.”
Also the operator has taken the additional measure of ensuring no large crowds are gathering inside the bus hub. “CityLink is limiting the time patrons are allowed to congregate inside the transit center lobby to two hours. Patrons will be asked by security to wait outside in the fresh air if they need to wait more than two hours for a lineup to depart the transit center,” it said. “The lack of patrons inside the lobby will allow CityLink staff to properly sanitize and deep clean the facility more frequently.”

What U.K. is doing

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Public Health England (PHE) have jointly issued a set of guidelines for transportation operators in England, which is seeing 1,391 infections and 35 deaths.
“DfT are working closely with PHE to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Action taken to date includes publishing updated health guidance for staff in the transport sector,” both agencies said a joint statement. “The Secretary of State has written to transport operators to ask them to publicize public health measures and make hand washing facilities available, and we welcome their continuing support in doing so.”
Among the measures taken including updated cleaning standards, which, in the event of a passenger developing COVID-19 symptoms, call for the cleaning of all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids and all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles and telephones.
Both agencies, as typical of Western nations, recommend that face masks not be worn by staff. “Respiratory masks are only recommended to be worn by symptomatic passengers to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to other people,” the agencies said.

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