What irritates you in public traffic
The SPD parliamentary group in North Rhine-Westphalia wants to discuss in a current hour today in the state parliament whether the corona infection risks in local public transport are underestimated. The transport companies in North Rhine-Westphalia are very confused about this, because they see no factual basis for this.
Ulrich Jaeger, Chairman of the NRW regional group of the Association of German Transport Companies: “To be clear: buses and trains are not Corona hotspots. The view that the low number of cases in local public transport is only due to the difficulty of verifying it is incorrect. The fact is what various national and international scientific studies as well as industry surveys have repeatedly confirmed: Due to the mask requirement, the constant exchange of air via the air conditioning and the automatic opening of the doors as well as the reduced speaking behavior of the passengers in the vehicles, there is no increase Risk of contagion in public transport. ”In this context, the industry and trade association VDV points out that it is particularly important in such socially challenging times to orientate oneself on objective facts and not on individual subjective opinions.
Objectively speaking, in times of Corona there is little cause for concern about an increased risk of infection when using buses and trains. The risk of infection in local public transport is no higher than in other public places - that is the result of several independent and scientific studies from Germany and abroad. At the end of June, for example, the Charité Research Organization examined around 1,000 Deutsche Bahn employees with the aim of gaining scientific knowledge about the risks posed by Covid-19 to employees and travelers. The latest study is provided by scientists who examined the risk of infection in the London Underground. "The result in all studies: there is no increased risk of infection in the vehicles," Jaeger continues.
Studies from abroad confirm the low risk of infection in local public transport
In Austria, the Food Safety Agency reconstructed infection chains with the help of local authorities and did not identify an infection that can be traced back to an infection in public transport. A research group at the University of Tokyo was also unable to find any chains of infection with reference to buses and trains in around 3,000 cases examined. And a survey by the “New York Times” among local transport companies comes to the conclusion that there have been no mass infections in local public transport in the metropolis of New York either.
Industry survey shows: very low case numbers among service personnel
A current survey by the industry association VDV underpins the scientific studies. There is only a very small number of corona infections among the employees in public transport. Jaeger: “The VDV has received feedback from 94 local transport companies from all over Germany. With the almost 80,000 employees there, there have been a total of 233 confirmed corona infections since the beginning of the pandemic in March, of which only nine colleagues were verifiably infected while on duty Ticket examiners, bus drivers and service and security staff. "The number of infections was particularly low among employees who spend several hours a day on buses and trains because of their work and who have direct customer contact," says Jaeger. This confirms the overall low risk of infection in public transport.
Corona rules protect effectively
“If you adhere to the applicable Corona rules and behave carefully, the risk of infection in public transport is very low. Even less for our passengers than for our employees. Because many of our customers only stay in the vehicle for a relatively short time, and that with a permanent exchange of air through the door openings and the air conditioning, ”concludes Jaeger.
Press release VDV
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