Using gadgets on trains raises risk of Covid-19 spread

Soldiers stand guard at the MRT station in the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Jakarta.
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Commuters who often use their gadgets, either smartphones or tablets, aboard trains should be careful as it may increase the risk of Covid-19 contagion.

Dr. Edward Faisal, an internist from the Junior Doctors Network organization, said that a number of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind the disease, can contaminate devices.

“Viruses that land on our gadgets’ surfaces can last up to five days,” said Edward on Wednesday in a statement.

He added that various factors can cause the contamination, particularly users’ contaminated hands or respiratory droplets from other train passengers who don't wear face masks or maintain any physical distance.

Furthermore, not using gadgets on trains can prevent wider transmission, for instance to your family at home.

“If you love your family and care for other people around you, you shouldn’t use your smartphone [on trains],” said Edward.

In mid-May, Commuter Line operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) launched a set of health protocols for commuters during the outbreak, which included refraining from talking and making phone calls aboard trains.

The Junior Doctors Network is an organisation in Indonesia for young doctors who have graduated and are registered with the Indonesian Medical Council (KKI).

The organisation is a platform for young doctors to gather and improve Indonesia’s health sector. 

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.