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Given the attack rates estimated for passengers in the same row as an index patient, a safe social distance of more than one metre is required for one hour spent travelling together. Pixabay

Next time you are travelling via train, make sure your seat location, travel time and social distancing is just right to minimise infection if a Covid-19 patient is present in the coach.

Scientists from the University of Southampton and colleagues have for the first time detailed the chances of catching Covid-19 in a train carriage carrying an infectious person.


The ‘attack rate’ for each seat — the number of passengers in a given seat diagnosed with Covid-19, divided by the total number of passengers travelling in the same seat –increased by 0.15 per cent for every hour that a person travelled with an infected patient.

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For those in adjacent seats, this rate of increase was higher at 1.3 per cent per hour.

Interestingly, the researchers found that only 0.075 per cent of people who used a seat previously occupied by an infected patient went on to contract the disease.

The study, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology, and Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that passengers travelling in seats directly adjacent to an index patient suffered the highest level of transmission, with an average of 3.5 per cent contracting the disease.


There is the individual risk of Covid-19 transmission on public transport based on data from epidemiological investigations of disease cases and their close contacts on high-speed trains. Pixabay

For those sitting on the same row, the figure was 1.5 per cent.

“Although there is an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission on trains, a person’s seat location and travel time in relation to an infectious person can make a big difference as to whether it is passed on,” Lead investigator Dr Shengjie Lai said in a paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The findings suggest that during the Covid-19 epidemic it is important to reduce the density of passengers and promote personal hygiene measures, the use of face coverings and possibly carry-out temperature checks before boarding.

Given the attack rates estimated for passengers in the same row as an index patient, a safe social distance of more than one metre is required for one hour spent travelling together.

Also Read: Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans

After two hours of contact, a distance of less than 2.5 metres may be insufficient to prevent transmission, said the authors.

“Our research is the first to quantify the individual risk of Covid-19 transmission on public transport based on data from epidemiological investigations of disease cases and their close contacts on high-speed trains,” said Professor Andy Tatem, Director of population-mapping project WorldPop.

“It shows that the transmission risk not only relates to the distance from an infected person, but also the time in their presence,” Tatem added. (IANS)


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It's a very common question to ask: "Who am I?" and it's not an easy question to answer. We might be able to give a definition of ourselves, like professional or student, or that we're introverts or extroverts but this doesn't really represent our true selves. We might also try to describe our best qualities and say that we're kind and smart but again, these qualities only indicate the surface level of who we really are.

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IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.

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Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
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Delhi to get new QR-based driving livenses and registration certificates.

In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).

As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.

The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.

"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.

The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)

An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.

The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.