While there are official SOPs for flights, trains and buses, there are none for using car-pooling services
There are standard operating procedures to be followed when one takes a flight, also for those boarding a train or taking a bus.
How about the SOP for those who use car-pool or share cabs to commute from home to office and back? After all, 174 million people in India used car pooling in 2019, says data from Statista.
With companies around the country allowing up to one-third of their employees to get back to offices post the lockdown, people have also started using car pooling.
"A little over 10 percent of our members have started using the service," says Shailesh Dubey of Liftlelo, a carpooling service in Mumbai. With over 20,000 members, Liftlelo works through WhatsApp groups dedicated to specific routes in the city.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
To ensure social distancing and hygiene in the cars, Dubey laid out a few guidelines to be followed, both for the car owner and the co-passengers.
A few, says Dubey, are mandatory. These include:1. Wearing masks
2. Sanitising hands
3. Using face shield
4. Only two passengers, apart from the driver, allowed in each car
5. Avoid exchanging mobile chargers
6. Sanitise umbrella handles, as rains have started7. Travel with same people as much as possible
8. And if down with cold , cough or fever please stay home and avoid carpool
Some guidelines are what Dubey calls, preventive. These are:1. Avoid phone calls
2. Carry just one bag
3. Declare verbally in good Faith, if your colleague/ family member / neighbours are having COVID-19
4 No sharing of food
5. Avoid handshakes
6. Let the car owner operate window buttons centrally, to prevent multiple touches"And yes," concludes Dubey, "No corona discussions in the car or on WhatsApp groups."