Friday, March 20th, 2020

Moscow police check taxi drivers for masks, sanitiser

Published 9:32 pm | March 20, 2020

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Online Desk ; Moscow traffic police have launched spot checks on the city’s taxis to ensure drivers wear face masks and regularly disinfect their vehicles.

The inspections, which rolled out Thursday, focus on drivers serving rail stations and airports, city traffic police spokeswoman Olga Dygalo said.

Traffic police are carrying out checks along with officials from the state health watchdog, which issued the rules to drivers.

Russia has recorded 199 cases of the coronavirus, according to the most recent official figures published Thursday.

Moscow health officials on Thursday reported the first death of a patient infected with COVID-19, but said the 79-year-old woman died of pneumonia, later changing the cause of death to a blood clot.

Under the new regulations, drivers are expected to change face masks every three hours and use sanitiser products to clean their hands and disinfect their vehicles twice a day, focusing on seat belt fastenings, door handles and the steering wheel.

They are also expected to air their cars regularly.

Fulfilling the requirements is no easy task as face masks are scarce in Moscow after residents stocked up in bulk, Russian media reported.

The inspections will also check whether taxi drivers have undergone short daily health checks before beginning work as required, Dygalo told AFP.

Transport companies that flout the rules could be fined 30,000 rubles ($383).

Russia closed its borders to foreigners on Wednesday in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

Moscow city officials have limited public gatherings of more than 50 people and schools across the country will close for three weeks from Monday.

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