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What are Preventive Measures Being Taken To Open Public Transport After Corona?

India is a land of more than 130 crore people and considering that figure, it is quite easy to understand that controlling the spread of coronavirus poses a different kind of challenge for our country than in any other part of the world.

One of the initial critical steps that were taken by the Indian government to control the spread of the coronavirus was to launch a nationwide lockdown wherein everything except the basic necessities was closed down. Public transport was completely closed down and this practice made it impossible for people to move from one part of the city to another even if they needed to travel for something important. Now that the lockdown has been lifted and people are gradually getting back to their old ways of life, the question that arises in everyone’s mind is how safe it is to travel in public conveyance modes.

As India’s public transport system is getting back to its pre-lockdown phase, we see taxis, autos, and inter-district buses moving on the roads once again. However, both the state and the central government has made it mandatory for the people involved with the public transportation modes to practice sanitization and social distancing to make sure that the possibility of coronavirus infection is brought down to the minimum. Many cities have still not allowed the within city public transport or metros to operate fearing the spread of the coronavirus.

There is also a certain level of confusion among the general population as to how safe public transportation is. For this reason, most of the people still now prefer to avoid the buses and transportation modes as far as possible since they believe that there can be a chance of coronavirus transmission through them.

In most of the cities, it has been found that the number of individuals riding a bus is even less than the allowed limit of 20 heads. The frequencies on any route are still very limited and this has led to some crowding in sporadic cases. However, in most cases, it is believed that the ridership on public transportation is going to be significantly less ever after several months after being resumed. It is still a long before the general public will show the same kind of confidence as before when it comes to riding on buses, autos, and taxis. The same can be said for the trains that have started moving all across the country.

There is also research to back the claim that focused airflow caused by AC in an indoor setting like in a metro rail or an AC coach can increase the chances of a coronavirus infection compared to non AC transportation. As there is a high chance of people getting the virus from a handgrip or a surface previously touched by a person infected by a coronavirus, the transportation authorities must perform regular sanitization to reduce the possibility of infections occurring during the use of public transport.

Overall, is it possible for the coronavirus to spread via the different kinds of public transportation means? Every social interaction is capable of transferring coronavirus – either person to person or through surfaces (called as fomites). Wearing masks and using sanitizers can drastically reduce the spread of the virus. Prevention or limiting the spread of the virus depends on the self-discipline and hygiene practices of the public. The regular sanitation of public transport facilities can also reduce the infections.

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