New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a study carried out by the researchers at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that a safe social distance of more than one metre is required for an hour spent travelling together with the infected person in a train carriage.

The report is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases and found that the average rate of transmission for these 'close contact' travellers was 0.32 per cent.

In this study, scientists have examined the chances of healthy people prone to catch COVID-19 in a train carriage with a single infectious person and found that for passengers who are sitting within three rows (widthwise) and five columns (lengthwise) of a COVID-19 infected person, between zero and ten per cent of those passengers caught the disease.

The researchers who conducted the study also came out with a theory that the passengers travelling in seats directly adjacent to an index coronavirus patient suffered the highest level of transmission of the infection, with an average of 3.5 per cent contracting the disease whereas, for those sitting on the same row with that of the infected person, it concluded that this figure was 1.5 per cent.

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


The findings further noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.

"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 Andrew Tatem, a co-author of the study from the University of Southampton.
"It shows that the transmission risk not only relates to the distance from an infected person, but also the time in their presence. We hope it can help to inform authorities globally about measures needed to guard against the virus and in-turn help to reduce its spread," the researcher added.

Researchers also explained that given the attack rates estimated for passengers in the same row as an infected individual, a safe social distance of more than one metre is required for one hour spent travelling together. But after two hours of contact, they said a distance of less than 2.5 metres may be insufficient to prevent transmission.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Simran Babbar