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Transport Fleet Disinfection to Control Spread of Coronavirus

All urban buses, bus rapid transit vehicles, taxis and subway trains in the capital are disinfected with chlorine-based sanitizers three times a day
Transport Fleet Disinfection to Control Spread of CoronavirusTransport Fleet Disinfection to Control Spread of Coronavirus

Public transportation fleet in the Iranian capital city and all other provinces are disinfected thrice daily to help curb the rapid spread of coronavirus throughout the country.
Gholamhossein Mohammadi, Tehran Municipality's Center for Communications and International Affairs, told YJC that all urban buses, bus rapid transit vehicles, taxis and subway trains in the capital are disinfected with chlorine-based sanitizers three times a day.
“The same directive should be followed by municipal bodies in all other Iranian cities to help control the spread of the virus among the public,” he said.
While citizens are advised to limit their use of public transportation under critical conditions, the cleaning of the entire network can significantly help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading among other commuters, he added.
Mohammadi noted that people have been cooperative as the number of passengers in Tehran subway, which has been notorious for overcrowding, has seen a 70% fall these days.
“This is also true about buses and taxis. The public is warned against undertaking outdoor activities and advised to get things done from home as much as possible to reduce their high-risk exposure,” he said.
According to TM, Tehran has 6,000 urban buses, 80,000 taxis and 1,300 traincars.
Concurrent with the capital city, sanitizing operations are also underway in other metropolises like Qom and Isfahan.
Reports say buses and taxis are regularly disinfected at night when the vehicles are off work.

 

 

Other Measures

Although President Hassan Rouhani said on Feb. 26 that there are no plans to quarantine areas affected by the outbreak and only individuals would be quarantined, officials have started to take measures, in addition to the cleaning job, to control the pandemic.
Imposing traffic restrictions on thoroughfares linking the infected cities is among supplementary actions. For instance, Chalous Road, linking Tehran to the northern province of Mazandaran, and the main road from Tehran to Gilan are among routes affected by this restriction, which limit road traffic to the local people.
Besides, the Health Ministry announced on Friday that health monitoring checkpoints will be set up between cities to limit travel for suspected cases.
State authorities have ordered shools of all grades and universities in the affected provinces closed until Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays (March 19-April 3).
Administrative and Recruitment Organization has allowed all executive organizations’ employees to work from home.
The Culture Ministry announced the cancellation of all concerts and cultural events for two weeks. The Sports Ministry also took steps to cancel sporting events, including football matches.
The Plan and Budget Organization announced that the government has allocated 5 trillion rials ($32.4 million) to combat the virus.
Citizens are also advised to avoid using banknotes.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected 110,098 people around the world and killed 3,831 until March 8. Reports say 62,302 people have recovered from the acute respiratory disease.
Iran reported its first confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infections on Feb. 19 in Qom. As of March 8, according to Health Ministry, there had been 194 COVID-19 deaths in the country with a total of 6,500 confirmed infections.
As of the same date, Iran had the third highest number of COVID-19 deaths after China and Italy, the highest in West Asia and the third highest number of SARS-CoV-2 cases, surpassed by only mainland China and South Korea.

 

 

Air Pollution Factor

Some scientists and medical professionals argue that there is a potential link between long-term exposure to air pollution and compromised lung capacity, which could make an individual more likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19.
This is bad news for Iranian megacities that have been struggling with air pollution for long.
According to Isa Kalantari, the head of Department of Environment, air pollution in Iranian metropolises is more lethal than road crashes and it annually claims over 30,000 lives.
“None of our industries and activities is eco-friendly. The government had numerous promising plans for restoring the environment, some of which progressed to some extent. Unfortunately, they were mostly left incomplete due to limitations faced by the country, because of US sanctions," he said.
In October, another DOE official had told media outlets that air pollution annually costs Tehran residents $2.6 billion, which implies that air pollution inflicts a loss of $300 on each resident.
Scientific studies show that among air pollutants, particulate matters, especially PM2.5 (particulate matters smaller than 2.5 micrometers mainly released from smog-inducing vehicles), are the most harmful due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstreams unfiltered, causing heart attacks, respiratory disease and premature death.
Generally speaking, air pollution of any kind has been recognized as the fourth leading cause of premature deaths worldwide.

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