- In Kerala, 500 coronavirus cases have been reported
- Around 38,547 samples have been sent for coronavirus testing
- The state has suggested taxis to have fibreglass partition installed
New Delhi: We all are living in the time when social distancing has become the new necessity of life, amid the ongoing crisis of novel coronavirus. Even after the pandemic is contained and the lockdown is over, and people begin to resume their routine, taking necessary precautions and maintaining social distance will be a must. Keeping this in mind, Kerala has come out with a novel idea to ensure proper social distancing. The state has decided to make it mandatory for the taxis running within the state to have fibreglass partition installed within the taxis so that the taxi drivers do not come into physical contact with passengers.
Also Read: Kerala Becomes A ‘Model State’ In The Fight Against Coronavirus: State Health Minister KK Shailaja Explains How
The initiative was kick-started in Ernakulam district when the administration directed taxi-drivers to install a fibre clear glass in their taxis as it is easy to install. Talking about the initiative, an official from Ernakulam district,
We directed the taxi-drivers to install this for precautions as taxi drivers are quite susceptible to contract the virus due to the nature of the job. Many people use the cab during the day, the drivers also take multiple rounds, in order to ensure the health safety of the drivers, the authority advised and suggested this step.
Also Read: To Fight Coronavirus, Kerala To Convert Its Houseboats Into COVID-19 Isolation Wards In Alappuzha
Now, the initiative has been adopted in Kochi as well, where one of the private firms has decided to ply their taxis with this necessary precaution.
Kochi:A pvt taxi firm has installed transparent partitions b/w driver&passenger seats in its cabs to prevent spread of COVID19,after suggestions from Ernakulam Dist. administration. The firm's taxis are deployed for transportation of those returning by repatriation flights,ships. pic.twitter.com/4yYXoHfzhr
— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2020
Highlighting the other precautions being taken by the Taxi drivers, an official from Ernakulam district administration further added,
We have asked the drivers to provide sanitiser to all passengers before they enter the taxi. A bottle is kept in the backseat only. The driver will only open the door of the car and the passenger will not be allowed to touch it. Drivers will be asked to adopt online money transactions. Thus, there would not be any contacts between the driver and the passenger.
Also Read: How India Should Prepare Itself After Lockdown?
Apart from this, Kerala in the past few months has become a model state in the fight against coronavirus. The state was India’s first state to report coronavirus case in January, by mid-March the state was the second worst-hit state by COVID-19 after Maharashtra as per the state-wise data from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. But today, half a dozen states are reporting more infections than Kerala. As of May 13, the state has reported around 500 coronavirus cases, of which 489 people have recovered and 4 have lost their lives.
Also Read: India’s Fight Against Coronavirus: How To Maintain Social Distance While Shopping Essentials, Kerala Shows The Way
Kerala was one of the first Indian states to announce a lockdown on March 23 and decided to shut schools, colleges and all social gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak. In the lockdown period, the state government also decided to intervene and made sure that free mid-day meals are being delivered to the beneficiaries and the disaster is not having an impact in worsening the nutrition status of the children in Kerala.
According to the Kerala government data, around 38,547 samples have been sent for coronavirus testing, of which, more than 37,000 have proved negative.
Moreover, the state is are just not testing patients with travel history or who shows some kind of symptoms but also asymptomatic patients. Kerala has also set-up walk-in sample kiosk (Wisk) in some areas, which is the first of its kind in India, inspired by similar models deployed in South Korea, for mass collection of samples from people to test for coronavirus.