Since the outbreak of Corvid-19, Gautrain has implemented a number of measures to help contain and avoid the spread of this virus. The following measures have been implemented and is ongoing:
1. Contractors are engaging with their employees and Union Representatives on the safety and health of employees. Employees with risk of exposure to the virus will self-isolate without any loss of benefit and their employers will cover testing costs.
2. Hand sanitizers have been made available at all stations. We are also using various communication channels to advise passengers and staff to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds or to alternatively make use of a hand sanitizer with an alcohol base. Communication from the WHO and the Department of Health is being shared with passengers at all stations by way of TV screens and audio announcements.
3. The Gautrain system has been cleaned with alcohol-based disinfectants and this cleaning is ongoing. This includes trains, buses and stations. In particular, touch points such as handrails, door handles and station washrooms are regularly cleaned.
4. Even though the Covid-19 is reportedly not airborne, as an additional safety measure, during maintenance hours air ducts on the trains are being treated with a disinfectant.
Please note that whilst the trains, stations and buses are being cleaned and disinfected throughout the day, further cleaning is conducted overnight once the trains are back in the depot. These above-mentioned precautionary measures have been implemented to minimise the risk of infection.
We support President Ramaphosa’s instruction to ensure social distancing and to avoid non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus. Where possible, we encourage our passengers to work from home. This limitation on travel is necessary to help reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
At this stage, Gautrain services are operating according to schedule and we will promptly communicate any changes in this regard.
We also want to use the opportunity to advise that on Sunday afternoon, 15 March, the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) was informed that a Business Unit Director who visited the BOC offices in Midrand between 12 and 14 March has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. During his visit, he also visited the Gautrain Park and Sandton stations. He travelled to South Africa from France and is currently in self-isolation.
As a precautionary measure, all individuals who were in close contact with him have been identified and have been advised to remain in self-isolation, as per the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.
On Sunday night, 15 March, the BOC office, Sandton and Park stations have been chemically decontaminated.
The Department of Health and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases have been notified and follow-ups with persons who were in contact with the foreign national are ongoing.