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February 18, 2020

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Wearing masks mandatory for all bus, taxi passengers in Shanghai

ALL taxi and bus passengers in the city are required to wear masks as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, the Shanghai Transportation Commission said yesterday.

Passengers without masks will be refused service, and those disobeying orders will be reported to police, according to the commission. Drivers on duty must also wear masks.

Among other new measures introduced by transport authorities, passengers are encouraged to pay fares via Alipay and WeChat, instead of cash and transportation cards.

Meanwhile, all operating enterprises should further strengthen the disinfection of crowded places such as bus terminals and taxi stations.

Taxi drivers are also prevented from taking passengers outside of the city’s borders.

All online transport firms should follow the same prevention measures as those deemed for taxis.

During the epidemic period, passengers are advised to use telephone taxi booking services as follows — Qiangsheng 62580000, Dazhong 96822, Haibo 96933, Jinjiang 96961.

All passengers are currently required to wear masks as well when entering Metro stations.

The number of people using the Metro by 9am yesterday was about 15 percent more than on the same day last week.

A total of 487,000 people had taken the Metro by that time, 63,000 more than last Monday, according to Metro officials.

However, that was still an 82 percent drop compared with the same day last year when 2.75 million people had used the Metro by 9am.

Around the city, companies are implementing government requirements to prevent the spread of the virus in offices.

At HKRI Taikoo Hui in Jing’an District, all staff whose companies have been approved by the government to resume work received an SMS message from the property’s management firm confirming the return to work. “This is to save the trouble of us checking their identity card when they arrive at work and also to avoid contact with other people as much as possible,” said Qiu Liqiong, a senior manager at the firm.

At the property’s office buildings, elevators allow only up to six people at any one time, a measure in place at several other office buildings.

The property management firm reports the number of people returning to work and their health status to the district police on a daily basis.

“Where a surge of workers returning to work happens, our officers are deployed to the entrance of the office building during morning rush hours to ensure that no incident happens,” said Feng Juwei, a police officer in charge of office building safety management in the district.


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