Singapore land transport operators and ride-sharing services respond to Wuhan virus threat

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s land transport operators have reacted to the threat of the Wuhan virus, with ComfortDelgro saying on Friday January 24 that it had increased its “preparedness level”.

The coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in China and several cases have been confirmed in other countries.

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Surgical masks have now been placed in all ComfortDelGro fuel kiosks, workshops and general counters for distribution to taxi drivers, the group said, with more ready to be deployed when needed, he said. added.

“Since SARS in 2003, we have made sure to always be ready for any similar incident,” said group CEO Yang Ban Seng.

“As part of our business continuity plans, we have stocked masks and sanitizers to ensure we are never caught off guard. We hope we won’t need to activate these plans, but we will. if we must.”

Singapore confirmed its first case of the Wuhan virus on Thursday evening – a 66-year-old male resident of Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on January 20. He is currently in isolation at Singapore General Hospital and is in stable condition.

On Friday afternoon, two more people were confirmed to have the virus, including the 37-year-old son of the first confirmed case.

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An enhanced cleaning and disinfection program will also be activated as the situation evolves, ComfortDelGro said in a press release.

Travel and personal hygiene advisories have also been issued to all its employees, including its taxi drivers, bus captains, frontline and background staff, it added.

“They have been encouraged to take precautionary measures such as cleaning and disinfecting their taxis more frequently and to wear a face mask if they have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose to protect those around them.

“If they don’t feel well, they should seek medical attention immediately,” said ComfortDelGro, owner of bus operator SBS Transit.

Employees of SMRT, Grab and Gojek received similar notices, according to the companies’ response to CNA’s questions.

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Employees of ComfortDelGro and SMRT have been advised to avoid all travel to Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, and to exercise caution and attention to personal hygiene when traveling to the rest from China.

Staff members of both operators and Grab, including drivers and food deliverers, who have recently visited China have also been asked to closely monitor their health for two weeks upon their return to Singapore and to consult promptly. a doctor if they feel unwell. .

SMRT also said those returning from China will undergo a mandatory temperature check.

“As a precautionary measure for our commuters, hand sanitizers are available at all MRT stations and bus interchanges,” SMRT added.

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