Mumbai coronavirus
Mumbai coronavirus
(Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP)

Mumbai: Ever since the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic has begun to hog the headlines, a cloud of panic has engulfed Mumbaikars. To tackle the panic and spread awareness among citizens, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has initiated awareness drive.

The lifeline of the roadways, BEST has a daily ridership of 33 lakhs. To prevent the spread of the pandemic, BEST officials organised awareness drives and lectures for its employees on Friday.

The BEST-appointed chief medical officer interacted with conductors and drivers, urging them to follow the necessary sanitation steps and made them aware of the importance of wearing masks and gloves.

Earlier on Wednesday, the BEST committee member and Shiv Sena corporator, Anil Kokil, wrote to the BEST general manager, Surendrakumar Bagde, asking him to introduce preventive sanitation measures for drivers and conductors.

“We organised informative session, supervised by our chief medical officers, to spread awareness among drivers and conductors,” said Manoj Varade, the BEST spokesperson.

The undertaking has put up flexes at the depots, bus stations and stops, urging Mumbaikars to adapt the basic hygienic methods such as washing hands, avoiding crowded places and covering face while coughing. Also, when in bus, the BEST has put up posters and flexes citing, “We can stop corona”.

Furthermore, following a government circular, hand sanitisers will also be made available for public at the BEST and MSRTC bus stops.

“We have also instructed the drivers and conductors to use gloves and masks,” added Varade. The frequency of cleaning drives has been increased, as the undertaking ground employees sanitise the bus at depots hitting the road. The handrails and rods in buses are being disinfected once the bus reaches the depot.

Moreover, prepaid taxis plying at the Mumbai international airport have started to run into losses. With a drop in number of fliers, cabbies are complaining of waiting for as long as 10 hours to get a single passenger, leading to a loss in business.

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