Drastic times call for drastic measures. After the recent scare in Toronto involving a patient with coronavirus on a GO bus, footage on social media on Monday, March 2, showed GO Transit's disinfectant process. And the scenes look like something out of a disaster movie.
After a woman who had recently travelled to Iran became Ontario's latest COVID-19 case, it was revealed she had travelled on the No. 40 GO bus between Pearson Airport in Mississauga and Richmond Hill Centre Terminal, per Global News.
And, after that incident, Metrolinx is now spraying all of its vehicles with a new long-lasting surface disinfectant.
A Metrolinx blog post aims to inform commuters on the measures the agency is taking to combat COVID-19. The blog outlines that the cleaning initiative is being undertaken "out of an abundance of caution."*
According to the Toronto Sun, the spray, a Microbe Shield Antimicrobial Spray produced by AEGIS, can last up to a year. Its use is part of a pilot project that was launched three weeks ago and tested on a 12-coach train.
Metrolinx is apparently satisfied with the test results and is now beginning to apply it to all buses and trains in its fleet, per the Sun.
A video of a GO bus being disinfected drew attention on Monday morning, not least because of how disaster movie-like it looks.
For what it's worth, Metrolinx spokesperson Anne-Marie Aikins confirmed on Twitter that the clip shows the workers applying the disinfectant spray.
Ghostly scene from #Contagion the movie? No, it’s @GOtransit crew in HAZMAT gear disinfecting the #COVID19… https://t.co/Lkb71y1559— Emily Farina (@Emily Farina)1583105738.0
"Confirmed. It’s the workers in standard protective equipment used to disinfect vehicles at the end of day & apply the new anti-microbial agent," said Aikins via Twitter.
She stresses the white suits are standard for use with disinfectants, and added, per Global, that these measures are "extra" safeguards on top of Metrolinx's usual cleaning procedures.
According to Global, meanwhile, Metrolinx is working on contacting passengers who took that same bus from Pearson Airport to Richmond Hill Centre on Wednesday, March 26 at around 3:55 p.m.
Aikins said the relevant driver has also been reached.
A statement given to Narcity by Toronto Public Health spokesperson Dr. Vinita Dubey read: "While the COVID-19 virus does not likely live on surfaces for longer than a few hours, the best intervention to prevent the transmission of this virus in public places and from public surfaces is frequent handwashing, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer."
This move comes days after Ontario's first case of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was confirmed.
According to Aikins via the Sun, it should take just a couple weeks for all of the company's fleet to be sanitized.
The continuation of the coronavirus outbreak has led to some Ontarians stocking up and even leaving stores like Costco bare.
The most recent news of the virus is of a McMaster student who is currently in isolation as they wait for results.
*This article has been updated.