Safe traveling in public transport amid COVID-19

Abstract

Several intensive policies, such as mandatorily wearing masks and practicing social distancing, have been implemented in South Korea to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We analyzed and measured the impact of the aforementioned policies by calculating the degree of infection exposure in public transport. Specifically, we simulated how passengers encounter and infect each other during their journeys in public transport by tracking movements of passengers. The probabilities of exposure to infections in public transport via the aforementioned preventive measures were compared by using the Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, and Recovered model, a respiratory infectious disease diffusion model. We determined that the mandatory wearing of masks exhibits effects similar to maintaining 2-m social distancing in preventing COVID-19. Mandatory wearing of masks and practicing social distancing with masks during peak hours reduced infection rates by 93.5 and 98.1%, respectively.

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