The briefing paper ‘Tracing surface and airborne SARS CoV-2 RNA inside public buses and subway trains’ published by Science Direct, examines the prevalence of SARS CoV-2 RNA inside buses and subway trains. The study took place in Barcelona between May and July 2020 and used surface swabs of frequently touched surfaces inside buses and subway trains; samples were also taken from ambient air and air conditioning filters.
They found that:-
1) From a total of 82 bus and subway train samples analysed using RTqPCR during this study, 30 showed evidence for the presence of one or more of the three target RNA gene regions (IP2, IP4, E) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
2) Positive results were more common in surface swab samples from support bars within the vehicles (23 out of 58) than in ambient air inside the vehicles (3 out of 12)
The study concluded:-
1) Cleaning procedures in public transport worldwide need to be rigorously validated to be effective for virus disinfection/removal, especially at times when COVID-19 cases are peaking.
2) Manual cleaning using bleach or other disinfectant agents needs to be done extremely thoroughly. The disinfection procedure needs to be not only concentrated on the driver area but also include the entire bus.
3) Such approaches (forced ventilation), combined with the application of rigorously effective cleaning and disinfection protocols to reduce the risk of fomite transmission, will not only act to suppress potential infection but also help to rebuild confidence in the general public regarding the use of urban transport in times of viral pandemic.
Achieving long term antimicrobial activity on high touch surfaces.
Liquid Guard® supports public transport companies to achieve constant minimal levels of antimicrobial activity using a long-term antimicrobial nano-coating that gives any treated surface a constant kill of microbes on contact. It has proven effectiveness against the SARS CoV-2 virus and other enveloped viruses such as Influenza A, along with a long list of other common bacterial infections, including MRSA and E.Coli .
Liquid Guard can be used on all hard surfaces within trains and buses and has an active antimicrobial life span of 12 months. Liquid Guard Textile is also available for use on transport upholstery and carpets. Lasting for 12 months or 12 washes, whichever comes first.
Liquid Guard’s antimicrobial activity is validated not only by independent efficacy reports on kill rates and weathering resistance, but also through use of a range of surface swab tests after application , including Adenosine Triphoshate (ATP) testing. In-field results from schools and offices have shown a significant decrease in surface microbial activity (commonly by 90%), allowing the resumption of pre-pandemic cleaning regimes.
The validation of the surface treatment performance through testing can help transport operators , communicate and demonstrate to passengers the effectiveness of their Covid mitigation protocols , thus emphasising their safety in attempts to regain the confidence of commuters and employees to return to public transport .