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Limiting the number of passengers on trains, trams and buses or shutting down public transport completely could be a key step in stopping the spread of coronavirus, a health expert has claimed.
Professor Bruce Thompson, who is the Dean of Swinburne University’s School of Health Sciences, said the Victorian government should consider expanding its social distancing measuresacross the public transport network.
Back in January, the Chinese government shut down public transport in Wuhan to control the spread of COVID-19 but some services are beginning to resume as the city’s infection rate continues to drop.
While Premier Dan Andrews announced plans to recruit more cleaners for Victoria’s public transport to curb the spread of the virus, Prof Thompson said the real risk that public transport poses is human to human transfer.
“There’s the concept of trying to limit the spread of the virus in any way we possibly can and now we’re getting to the point of essential services,” he said.
“It’s a hard one. It makes a lot of sense to say we either need to limit public transport travel or just take it out of the equation.
Few commuters are seen at Flinders Street station.Rather than stopping all public transport, Prof Thomspon said that adding limits to the number of passengers allowed to travel at any one time would also help.
“Limiting the amount of people that get on a train carriage or bus at any one time is one way around it,” he said.
“We could run it but have a limited capacity. It’s starting to happen anyway, people are working from home and travelling less.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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