SINGAPORE - A fleet of buses and vans has been refurbished for use in transporting people who have been exposed to Covid-19.
Known as Comet, or Covid-19 Multi-Passenger Enhanced Transporter vehicles, they are designed to facilitate the transfer of passengers between facilities such as hospitals, dormitories, as well as testing and community care facilities, while ensuring the safety of drivers.
This was part of an initiative supported by Temasek Foundation in its fight against Covid-19, in collaboration with transport companies SMRT Corporation, SBS Transit, and private transport operator Leisure Frontier, along with Singapore-based engineering firm Hope Technik and Temasek-owned firm Sheares Healthcare.
Currently, there are 51 Comet vehicles in varying sizes, which are now able to ferry passengers.
The fleet includes Maxi vehicles, which are 32-seater and 45-seater coaches, that were first deployed in early May and ferried an average of 450 passengers a day.
The fleet was later expanded to incorporate refurbished 23-seater "Midi" vehicles and nine-seater "Minis", which are smaller in size and better able to access various pick-up and drop-off points, such as hospitals' accidents and emergency driveways.
To ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers on board, the vehicle's interior is separated into two compartments by a sealed divider.
Both the driver's and the passengers' compartments have their own air-conditioning system to ensure that air circulation is separated, preventing the driver from coming in contact with potential Covid-19 patients.
The rear of the vehicle, where passengers are seated, is also equipped with a negative pressure system that has a Hepa filter to clean the air in the compartment before pushing it out.