Which form of transportation will be the safest in the COVID-19 era?

Platform news, 15 july, 2021, Thursday

Whether it’s across the country or to your local office, having to rely on public transportation might put travelers at increased risk, despite increased social distancing measures.

According to a recent study, a person is 300 times more likely to develop COVID-19 infection while riding in an AC vehicle with an infected passenger than while riding in an autorickshaw. This study was conducted by Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering.

The study, which was also published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research, discovered that the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 infections is decreased by almost 250 percent in a non-AC vehicle when the windows are pulled down, compared to an air-conditioned vehicle.

It was conducted in India, which is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, to analysis the risk of different transport vehicles during COVID-19 pandemic.
They evaluated the risk of getting COVID-19 infection in four cars that are frequently used in Indian metropolises. These forms of transportation included air-conditioned taxis, non-air-conditioned taxis, buses, and auto-rickshaws. The study calculated the likelihood of an individual developing an infection at different ventilation rates.
However, the low infection rates in public transportation systems may be maintained by adopting face masks, sanitizing trains and buses, and ramping and staggered business service hours to alleviate rush-hour overcrowding.

According to the study’s conclusion, the risk ranking of commuting microenvironments fluctuates during the different stages of lockdown. The AC-taxi alternative is clearly preferred during normal times to minimize air pollution (particularly in middle- and low-income nations with poor air quality), it may not be feasible during a pandemic. Additionally, autorickshaws with the highest air exchange rate have the lowest risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The research utilized the Wells-Riley model of airborne infectious disease transmission, which has previously been used to investigate TB and measles transmission.
However, crowded buses, trains and launches can quickly become a hotbed of contaminants due to high foot traffic and riders touching, sneezing, or coughing on shared surfaces.
In order to attempt to curb this, a strategically plan should be implemented during “Peak” travel times. If anyone have to travel using public transportation, be sure to wear some sort of face covering, use the least-crowded bus or car as possible. Travelers should also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash their hands after exiting the bus or train.

Biking is an excellent way to get some fresh air, exercise, and practicing social distancing method during traveling. Biking is relatively low risk compared to other methods of transportation.
Travelers should choose modes of transportation that provide adequate social distancing and that aren’t shared by other people. A personal vehicle is one of the most isolated ways to travel.

During a pandemic, ensure that all modes of transportation have adequate ventilation, so that sufficient fresh air may be exchanged between the inside and exterior environments.

Platform reporter
Ashrafur Rahaman Mahadi

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