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The COVID-19 pandemic put India under lockdown on the 24th of March, which has been extended twice and is now scheduled to end on the 17th of May 2020. However, with the country divided into various zones, the government has allowed businesses to resume operations.
With the approval of the state and central government, cabs and taxi services have resumed operation in green and orange zones across India. However, with the COVID-19 threat still present, authorities have asked everyone to maintain social distancing and safety measures.
Keeping this mind, taxi drivers in Kerala have come up with a unique way of protecting both themselves and their customers. According to Asianet News, officials in Kochi, Kerala have now asked taxi drivers to install a clear fibreglass partition between the front and rear seats. These fibreglass partitions are easy to install and provide safety for both the driver as well as the passengers.
Apart from the installation of the fibreglass partition, officials have also asked taxi drivers to ensure all safety measures and precautions are followed. As per new guidelines, taxi drivers will now have to open the doors for the cars to allow passengers in.
They will also be offered hand sanitizer before entering the vehicle. The new guidelines also ensure there are only two customers per ride and none of them will be allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.
Customers will have to mandatorily wear masks, while drivers will be wearing both masks and gloves at all times. Customers will also be asked to handle their own luggage, with loading and unloading being done themselves.
Officials have also asked taxi drivers to ensure cashless (online) payments. This further ensures there is no physical contact between the driver and the customer. Taxis will now be opening all windows, while the use of air-conditioning will be avoided. Taxi drivers will also ensure to clean the car after every ride, further ensuring the safety of passengers.
Thoughts About Kerala Taxi Drivers Installing fibreglass Partitions
Taxi drivers are amongst the most susceptible to contracting the COVID-19, as they interact with the most number of people. Hence to ensure their safety as well as the safety of their customers, cab drivers and officials are coming up with innovative ways to maintain their wellbeing.