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  • Seoul tested 950 public transportation COVID-19 samples, all of which are “non-detection of viruses”

  • Press Releases SMG 160
    • 500 inspection after quarantine in subways, buses, taxis, etc. included in the route of confirmed patients
    • 450 inspections of five facilities before disinfection for the safety of citizens commuting by public transportation
    • Nondetection of viruses in bus handles and chairs, etc. used by confirmed drivers as a result of pre-inspection.
    • In February, cars of subways in Seoul will be collected specimen for regardless of the confirmed patient’s visit.

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, January, 25, 2021 — The Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment conducted 11 rounds of COVID-19 tests on the environment of multi-purpose facilities visited by confirmed cases from February 12 last year to January 18 this year. Particularly, a total of 950 tests have been conducted on subways, buses, and taxis since February last year to confirm the non-detection of the COVID-19 virus.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government recommends lowering congestion by implementing a subway congestion forecast system, making it mandatory to wear masks in public transportation and refraining from dialogue as a preemptive measure. It also said there have been no confirmed cases of passengers being infected with public transportation workers.

    The Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment examined 25 public transportations visited or used by confirmed cases to completely monitor their safety after disinfection and quarantine measures, and a total of 500 cases were undetected of the COVID-19 virus. Before disinfection, a total of 450 cases were inspected at five facilities, including subways and buses, and all were undetected as a result.

    At the end of last year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government found 17 confirmed people in a preemptive test of 21,000 bus drivers. The Seoul Institute of Health and Environment collected samples before disinfection from the handles and chairs of the buses they ran, and the result is also non-detection.

    In the case of public transportation, proper ventilation through natural and mechanical method is lowering the possibility of passengers being exposed to the coronavirus.

    Shin Yong-seung, head of the Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment, said, “The subway, bus, taxi vehicle interior, subway platform, waiting room, etc. included in the route of confirmed cases were inspected before disinfection, so there is no need for excessive anxiety.” He added, “The most significant reason why many people did get uninfected despite using public transportation was due to citizens’ active efforts such as wearing masks, washing hands, and refraining from talking and calling.”

    The Seoul Research Institute of Public Health and Environment aims to reduce the anxiety of citizens using public transportation and secure the safety of public transportation through preemptive measures even if there are no confirmed cases in the future. In February, regular indoor air quality tests for public transportation subway cars will be conducted during the season of fine dust, and COVID-19 virus environmental samples tests will also be conducted in subway cars under the Seoul Metropolitan Government.