While the nation is in lockdown there are thousands of people who still need to go to work to ensure that our essential services keep operational. Being able to work from home during lockdown is a privilege that not everyone has, the reality is that many of the essential service workers will be relying on public transport. Below are some guidelines to help us keep healthy while using public transport.
Plan your day
As of Friday 27 March 2020 South Africa’s public transport services will have a limited time where they are allowed to be on the road to provide transport, the allotted time by government is from 05:00 – 09:00 and 16:00 – 20:00.
For the week of Monday, 30 March – Friday, 03 April the public transport system will be running between 05:00 – 20:00 each day for those who need to collect social grants. If you’re using public transport during this time to collect your grant you need to carry your ID document and Sassa card to assist law enforcement in their job. The rule still applies that unless it’s essential for survival to venture out of the house, stay at home.
Covid-19 is spread through coughing and sneezing, so it’s important to maintain social distancing, this means keeping 1-meter of space between you and another person. This applies to public transport too; you need to have space on either side of you. If public transport is shuttling as many people as possible you can report them as it goes against government transportation laws during the lockdown.
Don’t touch your face
Do not touch your face with your hands; this includes rubbing an itchy eye. When we sneeze or cough germs land on surfaces like hand railings, we touch these with our hands and then touch our face transferring the bacteria. By not touching our face we limit the opportunity for Covid-19 transfer.
Since Covid-19 is a respiratory disease and spread in the micro-droplets expelled during sneezes and coughs it’s really important that if you sneeze or cough you do so into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue, the tissue needs to be thrown away immediately, it cannot be reused even if it seems like nothing came out your mouth or throat.
Sanitise, and wash your hands
If you have access to sanitiser carry some with you and use as often as possible, and where possible, and to wash your hands for 20-seconds whenever you get the chance. If you’re going to be wearing gloves it’s vital to bear in mind that they’re a barrier and not a defense mechanism. Gloves need to be disposed of after every use, you can’t touch your face with gloves on and that your hands need to be washed thoroughly when you remove the gloves as bacteria could be lurking in them.
Shared public spaces
Unless you need to grab on a handle for stabilisation try and avoid touching shared public surfaces, this is easier said than done though it’s vital to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Remember – unless it’s essential for survival to venture out of the house, stay at home.
Images: South African government, iStock