Hitachi's UK plant looks to the world market
Sliding seats could enable passenger trains to carry goods
A1 No 60163 Tornado does 100mph
Rail Alliance drives Midlands Engine
GB Railfreight to implement Ideagen safety software
UAV survey company Bridgeway Aerial takes off
Fire at Euston Station causes nationwide rail disruption
DB Cargo UK confirms job cuts and reform
Subsea cable fault detection demonstrated to rail industry
HS2 rolling stock procurement moves forward
Face coverings. Once the medical community’s preserve in India and the rest of the world, these protective coverings have established themselves as necessary fashion appurtenances. And, all within a few short months. Yet, expert opinion on their broader and more sustained adoption appears evenly split.
If you thought they were only necessary during the lockdown, you should start getting used to carrying one everywhere. As governments ease lockdowns across the world, they also ask citizens to comply with precautionary measures such as washing their hands regularly, minimising social contact, and using face coverings as much as possible. Henceforth, masks are necessary to travel on public transportation.
Towards the end of the third phase of India’s lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in unambiguous terms that the fourth phase would be “very different.” Restarting the economy also meant putting guidelines in place to reopen public transport systems.
Chief Ministers of various states echoed Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan’s willingness to reopen bus and metro services as soon as possible. Perhaps in response, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari promised new guidelines concerning the resumption of public transport.
Narendra Modi’s government can perhaps, borrow a leaf from the UK where Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has made face coverings compulsory from June 15. The directive requires people to wear face coverings on tubes, trains, buses and other public transport means while keeping non-essential shops open. Yet, India is different.
Reopening the public transport system presents obvious problems, as countries like the UK are finding out. Various authorities are declaring intentions to put in place protocols they’ll enforce. But, it’s never easy to implement restrictions on India’s public transport system.
Governments consider the face coverings policy to be essential considering the challenge in maintaining physical distancing on public transport, even where there are alternative means of transportation and the option of staggered commuting times.
An Urban Works Institute Urban Planning and Design Senior Associate, Vaishali Singh, clarifies that a protracted COVID-19 era calls for immediate and medium-term recommendations for transport operations. Besides several other proposals, Urban Works’ report highlights the importance of ensuring that only mask-wearing commuters board any bus.
Public transport increases the probability of an individual coming in contact with people with asymptomatic infection. Head of Mumbai’s Kasturba Molecular Lab, Dr. Jayanti Shastri, insists that wearing a mask remains highly essential for this reason. She said talking, coughing, or sneezing produces droplets which naturally fall on any intervening surface. This surface could be a bus seat, door handle, or another person. Face coverings will minimise such, and protect everyone else from infection.
Looking at it another way, wearing face coverings on public transport is merely an extension of the prevailing conditions in many states, where face coverings of gamchas, handkerchiefs, stoles, and even khadi (as in the case of Uttar Pradesh).
No doubt, the move will prompt protracted commentary from opposition politicians. But as valid as their arguments may sound, the country is in a crisis, and is in dire need of a solution and not political rhetoric. In the wake of this, the common man needs to be safe as he dares to move about in search of daily bread.
Even experts will find plenty of points to fault the policies and approach of the government. For instance, the British Medical Association (BMA) questioned the delay in the government’s transport policy, citing the lower risk of the virus with earlier implementation.
The doctors are yet recommending compulsory face masks across all facets of public life where social distancing is hard, adding that the government should ensure an ample supply of face coverings to the public. It remains a common theme on just about any social media, news, or essay writing website.
Ensuring that people wear face coverings on aircraft, buses, coaches, ferries, and trains will protect our society’s most vulnerable demographics – young children, the disabled, the elderly, and those with breathing difficulties.
The existing regime of fines and considerate punishment for violating face-covering rules will fit perfectly as the public transport system increasingly expands operations. It remains necessary to keep these in place until people reach for their face coverings when they think of traveling or commuting.
India’s seven and half thousand death toll is significant. While a recovery rate of forty-eight percent is the current reality, there’s a need to concentrate lean resources on stopping coronavirus in its tracks as it tries to spread everywhere it can.
Face coverings are a new order and will be essential as long as coronavirus is a viable threat. If we get this right, we can confidently go ahead and reopen schools and activities that were once part of everyday life. After all, a face mask is a small price to pay if we can do everything else we would like to do.
The post CoronaVirus: Face coverings to be mandatory on Public Transport appeared first on Urban Transport News.
This article first appeared on www.urbantransportnews.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.