SINGAPORE - Taxi giant ComfortDelGro Corp will install 400 of its cabs with plastic shields that separate the driver from the passengers.
The listed company said on Wednesday (May 20) that the move is a trial to see how drivers and commuters respond.
The shield is made of a hard, transparent plastic material "which aims to minimise contact between cabbies and their passengers and hopefully reduce the spread of Covid-19".
Cabbies and private-hire drivers were among the first to be infected when the coronavirus arrived in Singapore in January.
ComfortDelGro said the shield will be installed in about 50 taxis each week starting from Wednesday.
Called V-shield, the locally manufactured shields have been trademarked by Moove Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro.
Measuring 1m x 0.7m x 0.6m, the shield covers the driver's cabin entirely and has two "window" openings for passengers to make payment. The shield is made of an unbreakable material, which enables it to serve as an added protection against any violent physical harm.
The shield encases only the driver's cabin area and does not obstruct airflow in the rest of the cab, the company noted.
ComfortDelGro Taxi chief executive Ang Wei Neng said: "Our cabbies are exposed to passengers throughout the day and night. While our drivers take as much precaution as they can by wearing masks and constantly disinfecting their cabs, there is still a risk. These shields will further reduce that level of risk as it serves as an added layer of protection for the cabbies."
Earlier this month, the Royal Thai Air Force unveiled a plastic shield for taxis in the kingdom.