Unlock 4.0 is falling into place with the lifting of some restrictions and the resumption of Metro rail services. Office goers in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Kolkata have welcomed the change after being stuck at home for nearly 5 months. Commuting is not going to be the same, however, and with good reason. Social distancing is a must and there are strict regulations regarding face masks and thermal screening while taking the Metro during the pandemic. It’s all necessary to prevent the spread of infection, and our collective citizen social responsibility (CSR) for Coronavirus control.
As you get accustomed to the ‘new normal’, ask yourself: What can I do as a responsible citizen to prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
Citizen social responsibility for fighting Coronavirus
Metro networks in most cities with connectivity have resumed since September 7 in a graded manner. Mumbai has been deliberately left out due to the volume of COVID-19 cases, leaving office goers fuming. Local trains, of course, are suspended too.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Standard has made known the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for the safety of passengers and employees. Face masks and thermal screening are expected universally. However, the rules will differ in every city depending on the local requirement.
For example, DMRC doesn’t allow tokens to prevent transmission of the virus. Delhi does not permit passengers to enter the premises without temperature checks and hand sanitization. Namma Metro (Bengaluru Metro) is limited the crowd to 400 passengers per train to avoid overcrowding. Kochi Metro Rail Limited has trains scheduled every 20 minutes. Doors are kept open for at least 20 seconds for more ventilation. Kolkata Metro will resume plying from September 14 but has already started issuing mandatory e-passes for entry. Passengers who don’t have e-passes will not be allowed to commute.
Steps to follow for Metro train travel
1) Follow the markings at the station and inside the train
2) Keep your face mask on throughout the train journey
3) If you show any symptoms of COVID-19, visit the nearest Covid Care Centre or hospital for a medical exam.
4) Install Aarogya Setu App on your smartphone.
5) Use the hand sanitisers provided at the points of entry.
6) Use either Smart Cards or online transaction methods for your ticket.
7) Some of the centres might skip stations to ensure social distancing. Find out the route boarding the train to avoid missing your stop.
Protect yourself from fake news
Contrary to some wrong beliefs about the disease outbreak, consuming more garlic, curry leaves or cow’s urine would neither treat nor prevent Coronavirus infection. The Public Health department has asked people to eat healthy, cover the mouth while coughing or sneezing and practise good hygiene.
Rather than believing the half-baked rumours on social media, stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak via correct sources. We recommend the websites of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Health and safety tips for COVID-19
To practise citizen social responsibility for Coronavirus, take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
Wash your hands with soap often
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time.
Practise social distancing
Social distancing is a form of infection prevention that involves avoiding contact between those who are infected with a disease-causing pathogen and those who are not. This eventually leads to decrease in spread of the disease.
Avoid going to public gatherings and crowded places. Maintain at least 3 feet distance while speaking to anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your face and eyes
In the course of the day, your hands touch various metal, steel, glass, wood and cloth surfaces. God forbid, they are contaminated, your hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Ensure respiratory hygiene
By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. Make sure you, and your family and friends follow good respiratory hygiene. Vampire cough (coughing with your elbow bent over your mouth and nose) or use a tissue and dispose it immediately. The virus spreads through droplets.
Stay home if unwell
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. This will allow your family doctor to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
If you have a travel history
Self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. Continue to stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose. Avoiding contact with others and visiting a medical facility instead will allow healthcare professionals to operate more effectively and help protect you.
Following CSR rules to prevent Coronavirus is the only way this epidemic can be curtailed until a vaccine is found.