Letter of the day

Deploy safe distancing ambassadors on buses and trains

The writer suggests deploying safe distancing ambassadors to conduct checks on public trains and buses to rein in any irresponsible behaviour by passengers.
The writer suggests deploying safe distancing ambassadors to conduct checks on public trains and buses to rein in any irresponsible behaviour by passengers.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

I am concerned about the spate of Covid-19 community cases in recent weeks.

A "breeding ground" for Covid-19 infection could be public transport.

Commuters speaking to one another and talking loudly on their mobile phones on MRT trains is a common sight daily.

Similar behaviour can be seen on public buses.

As both trains and buses are usually crowded with passengers sitting closely side by side, and both modes of transport are enclosed spaces without natural ventilation, there is significant risk of the coronavirus spreading on board.

In order to nip the problem in the bud, I suggest that the authorities deploy safe distancing ambassadors (SDAs) to conduct checks and enforce safe distancing rules on public trains and buses.

This would help rein in any irresponsible behaviour by passengers, which could be contributing to the spread of Covid-19.

Some passengers may already be potential carriers of the coronavirus. As they could be asymptomatic and unaware of their condition, their presence on public transport could have contributed to the number of community cases reported in recent weeks.

Enforcement by SDAs on crowded buses and trains might be a challenge. But given the gravity of the current situation, I believe that however challenging it might be, it would still be a move in the right direction.

Teo Kok Seah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2021, with the headline 'Deploy safe distancing ambassadors on buses and trains'. Subscribe