Saturday, August 29, 2009

A(H1N1): Public Transport Operators Strive To Ensure Safety

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- Public transport operators have given the assurance that they have taken the necessary steps to prevent the spread of Influenza A(H1N1).

Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL) communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said RapidKL had reminded its staff, particularly customer service staff, to observe personal hygiene and to keep the surroundings clean.

RapidKL, which handles about 700,000 bus and Light Rail Transit (LRT) passengers daily, also supplies hand sanitizers and surgical masks to customer service staff, bus drivers and security officers who are in constant contact with passengers.

Ebi Azly said RapidKL also carried health checks at bus holding bays and LRT stations to ensure all officers on duty were healthy.

Train coaches were also being disinfected on a daily basis using special chemicals to kill germs, he said.

"The LRT stations are being cleaned on a daily basis using special chemicals. We are also stepping up efforts to clean buses in all bus depots in the Klang Valley," he told Bernama.

He was asked to comment on a Bernama report yesterday about the concern expressed by commuters on the spread of A(H1N1) virus among passengers of public transport.

RapidKL, Ebi Azly said, was also planing to supply free hand sanitizers at LRT stations and RapidKL bus hubs and was in constant contact with the Health Ministry to determine the steps to be taken to keep the pandemic at bay.

"RapidKL also has in place a business continuity plan which states the necessary steps to tackle the pandemic," he added.

Meanwhile, Federation of Taxi Drivers and Hired Car Association president Abdul Wahab Omar said taxi drivers were aware of the risks of A(H1N1) transmissions.

"Although we have less passengers compared to other modes of transportations, we are also concerned over the spread of the A(H1N1) because we have no way of telling whether a passenger has the symptoms or not.

"There are no guidelines on how taxi drivers should deal with the pandemic. However, there are many taxi drivers who are wearing surgical masks on their own initiatives," he said.

The federation, which has 25,000 taxi drivers in its stable nationwide, hoped that the government could organise a campaign among taxi and hired car drivers and help supply surgical masks and hand sanitizers.

"This is particularly important for taxi and hired car operators at the borders and airports where there are high concentration of people," he said.

Meanwhile, the Peninsular Malaysia Bus Operators' Association said bus companies had been told to make it compulsory to make announcement requiring passengers to declare their health prior to starting their journey.

Its president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Mohamad Ali said passengers showing A(H1N1) symptoms would be seated separately from other passengers and given surgical masks.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Bernama, he said, passengers who were confirmed to have contracted A(H1N1) would be barred from boarding the bus.

The association had also ordered that all toilets in bus stations be kept clean, he said.

Bus operators would be required to disinfect certain parts of the bus which came frequently in contact with passengers such as handles, seat levers and doors.

Mohamad Asahfar said air-conditioned units should also be maintained regularly to facilitate healthy air flow inside the vehicle. -- BERNAMA

No comments:

Post a Comment