In April, researchers from the Institute of Physics at the Czech Academy of Sciences collected around 500 surface and air samples onboard buses, trams, trains, and in metro stations operated by the Prague Public Transit Company using ad hoc biosensors and air sampling systems.
The presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been tested using swabs from surfaces that people regularly touch such as poles, grips, seats, push-buttons, contact-free ticket terminals as well as control buttons in elevators, escalator handrails, escalator retaining system in metro stations, or street furniture on platforms such as benches or info panels.
All 558 samples taken were negative, announced the representative of the Institute Alexandr Dejneka.
Czech researchers took 154 samples in buses, 160 in trams, 126 in the metro trains, and 52 in metro entrance halls. In addition, 66 air samples were taken directly in the cabins of buses, trams, trains, and at metro stations.
The swabs in metro carriages were taken immediately after passengers get off and the train is taken to the metro depot because the time a train spends in the terminal station navigating to the opposite travel direction was not long enough for the researchers to take the samples.
For buses, the collection spots included the Želivského terminal and bus lines 124, 139, 150, 199, and 213 running near the “Královské Vinohrady” University Hospital and going as far as the Thomayer University Hospital and several other “polyclinics” and medical facilities in Modřany, Vršovice or Jižní Město.
Samples from trains were taken at the Kačerov and Hostivař train depots, Karlovo náměstí, Budějovická and Kačerov.