On Tuesday (October 5), shops in several areas of Srinagar were allowed to reopen after ten days of lockdown ordered by the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to stem spread of the covid-19. However, there were no restrictions on people travelling in public transport through the area nor was there any extra checking to look for overcrowding.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, health officials have been, time and again, advising people to avoid crowds whenever possible, and people are increasingly worried about being in close contact with strangers. For those who use public transit, this concern shall remain top of the mind.
while there is no cogent survey regarding spread of covid-19 virus through public transport, a 2005 survey conducted in eight regions affected by the 2003 SARS outbreak, six locales — Hong Kong, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Great Britain, and the Netherlands — deemed public transportation the riskiest place to be in during a pandemic, in comparison to entertainment places, shops, hospitals, workplaces and schools.
While Covid-19 causes respiratory problems, the virus is similar to the common cold and other respiratory viruses, which usually spread through exposure to tiny droplets from a sick person’s cough or sneeze.
One would recall that shutting down public transport was among the first measures taken by the government when lockdown was announced at the beginning of the pandemic last year. It was aimed to stem spread of the pathogen at the beginning of the lockdown. The violations of social distancing and goby to wearing face coverings such as masks should not be allowed especially when the cases of covid-19 are continuously pouring in. The J&K has already surpassed 329991 infection tally and numbers are increasing in Srinagar district. While it is true that cowering in fear of the virus can no longer be an option, as sustenance of everyday life will require the wheels of the economy to be set into motion, the government and people cannot take things for granted. The easing of activities has been considered an economic unlock rather than a clean chit from the pestilence. Both the government and the public must treat the transition in a manner that makes it risk-free for all. The ICMR has time and again pointed out the complacency of people concerning hygiene and flouting of advisories could prove detrimental. Situation demands to be alive to risks and ensure wearing of masks during the travel in buses and other means of transport