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Wuhan buses hit the road after two-month lockdown

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Wuhan Bus Service

Beijing, March 26 : As a bus departed from its terminus at Hankou Railway Station at 5.25 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Wuhan started to resume bus service after nine weeks of lockdown.

Apart from a driver, a safety supervisor was also on each bus, whose duty was to make sure all passengers are healthy as their health code shows before boarding.

“For those who do not use smart phones, they should bring with them a health certificate issued by the health authorities,” said Zhou Jingjing, a safety supervisor aboard bus No. 511 departing from Wuchang Railway Station complex, Xinhua news agency reported.

Wuhan, the once hardest-hit city in central China’s Hubei Province during the COVID-19 outbreak, resumed a total of 117 bus routes starting Wednesday, around 30 percent of the city’s total bus transport capacity, the municipal transport bureau said.

From Saturday, six metro lines are expected to reopen to the public. The service time will be published on the stations.

According to a spokesperson of the bureau, passengers must wear masks, register with their names and scan a QR code, and take a temperature check before taking buses and subways. To minimize the infection risk, people who are vulnerable to the virus including those aged above 65 are not encouraged to take public transportation.

On January 23, Wuhan declared unprecedented traffic restrictions, including suspending the city’s public transport and all outbound flights and trains, in an attempt to contain the epidemic within its territory. Similar restrictions were soon introduced in other areas in Hubei.

Hubei authorities ended restrictions on outbound traffic starting Wednesday, with the exception of its capital city of Wuhan, which will lift outbound travel restrictions on April 8, according to a provincial government notice issued Tuesday.

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Disaster

IndiGo operates relief flights at own cost

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indigo airlines

New Delhi, April 7 : Budget airline IndiGo on Tuesday said that it is in the process of operating more than 30 relief flights “free of cost” to aide the Centre’s efforts in curbing Covid-19.

Accordingly, the airline has been allowed by the government to carry cargo in their planes to ferry food, medicine and medical equipment in the country’s battle against the pandemic.

These flights are being operated by the company at its own cost, the airline said.

According to Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo: “We know how critical it is for health workers in every corner of the country to get immediate access to medical supplies, and we are grateful to be allowed to play a role, however modest, in this supply chain.”

“The employees of IndiGo would also like to salute our colleagues at Air India for the heroic work they have been doing in evacuating Indians and other nationals stranded in foreign countries.”

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Travel

Crowd swarm trains as Wuhan lifts outbound travel ban

Big data from Wuhan traffic police forecasted the expressways would see the peak of outbound vehicles on Wednesday.

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Medical Workers

Wuhan, April 8 : As cars queued up at expressway toll gates and passengers prepared to board trains to leave Wuhan, the megacity in central China started lifting outbound travel restrictions from Wednesday after almost 11 weeks of lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.

At Fuhe toll gate in nothern Wuhan, cars honked horns and rushed out after barricades were removed at midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Guo Lei, who ran a business in Wuhan, drove his car with six other people aboard to the toll gate at around 8.40 p.m. and waited for a homebound trip.

“I can’t wait returning to my hometown,” said Guo, a native of east China’s Shandong Province. “I have lived in Wuhan for eight years. During the Spring Festival holiday, my relatives came to the city and helped me deliver goods. We were all stranded here due to the epidemic.”

Big data from Wuhan traffic police forecasted the expressways would see the peak of outbound vehicles on Wednesday.

As more enterprises resume their operations, Wuhan has seen an increase of nearly 400,000 vehicles in transit in the past half month, and the number is expected to reach 1.8 million after Wednesday, according to the city’s traffic police.

Traffic police will release real-time traffic information through radio stations, online social platforms, and map apps.

“I’m very happy to see the lockdown was lifted. The reopening of outbound traffic represents the epidemic situation has improved, and our hard work over the past two months has paid off,” said Fang Jing, a staff member of an expressway toll station in Wuhan.

“We still need to protect ourselves from the virus and remind passengers to pay attention to personal health since the epidemic is not yet over,” Fang added.

At Wuchang Railway Station, a total of 442 passengers jumped on the train K81 early Wednesday, which is heading for Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province.

More than 55,000 passengers are expected to leave Wuhan by train on Wednesday, and about 40 percent of them are going to the Pearl River Delta Region. A total of 276 passenger trains will leave Wuhan for Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities.

The railway authorities required passengers to scan health codes and have temperatures checked when entering the stations and wear masks to reduce the risks of infection.

Workers have disinfected bullet trains, the entrance and exits, waiting halls and platforms of the railway stations in advance.

Wuhan Tianhe International Airport started resuming domestic passenger flights early Wednesday. The airport is expected to see more than 200 inbound and outbound flights on the day, according to the airport.

On January 23, Wuhan declared unprecedented traffic restrictions, including suspending the city’s public transport and all outbound flights and trains, in an attempt to contain the epidemic.

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Health

Railways develops disinfectant tunnel to combat Covid-19

The disinfection tunnel will work uninterrupted for 16 hours, hence requiring refilling only once a day.

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Indian Railways

New Delhi, April 6 : The Indian Railways has developed a disinfection tunnel to sanitise people for just Rs 10,000, officials said on Monday.

A railway ministry official said that the loco shed in Maharashtra’s Bhusaval has developed a disinfection tunnel to fight Covid-19.

He said one set of three nozzles spray one ppm sodium hypochlorite solution, as people walk for a duration of between three and five seconds inside the tunnel.

The official said that upon contact in the tunnel, the spray is efficient enough to kill the virus.

He said the total cost of the tunnel was around Rs 10,000 and its capacity is of 500 litres.

The disinfection tunnel will work uninterrupted for 16 hours, hence requiring refilling only once a day.

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