Transportation authorities in Sichuan Province carry out COVID-19 preventive measures
By Dai Kaiyi

COVID-19 containment remains an important task for transportation officials as China is halfway through its National Day holiday, with hundreds of millions having already traveled nationwide.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the country's railways, highways, waterways, and civil aviation transported approximately 63 million passengers in total on the first day alone of the National Day holiday.

Meanwhile, the Chinese mainland recorded 27 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, including one local transmission, data from the National Health Commission showed on Monday. 

As the National Day holiday travel season will further increase the risks of infection, anti-epidemic vigilance cannot be relaxed for even a moment, reads an opinion piece published by China Daily on September 30, which pointed out that the tourist sites, and transportation and other tourism-related departments need to make concerted efforts including using big data to better manage the flow of tourists and ensure their safety.

Transportation authorities in southwest China's Sichuan Province figured out a technology-empowered way on their end to keep COVID-19 spread at bay.

At its bus stations in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, each and every passenger has to go through a quick procedure before getting on board.

By scanning the code on mobile phone mini-program "Chuan Xing Tong," travelers are required to provide their names, ID card numbers and contacts. They must also tell the driver if they've traveled to medium- or high-risk areas, or if they've been overseas for the past 14 days. They can only board with a driver's approval.

Huang Yonghua, a bus driver of Chengdu Automobile Transportation Corp, said, when there are old people or kids who don't own a mobile phone, he and his colleagues – as drivers – help fill up the information on their behalf. He said they also ensure that  all passengers have properly worn face masks upon departure, in transit, and at rest areas.

Holiday travel for most people starts on the last day of September, and all across the southwestern province, more than two million travelers, have registered through the scheme so far.

Geng Chao, deputy director of Beimen Bus Terminal in Chengdu, said before any bus departs from the station, the staff verify the number of passengers on those buses with the number registered in the "Chuan Xing Tong" mini-program, making sure all passengers can be traced down if needed. If there are any potential hazards, they immediately report to the relevant communities and the local disease control centers.

Meanwhile, to protect privacy, the information collected is desensitized and transmitted with encryption. Those who have access to the system cannot directly obtain and view a traveler's complete information.

The mini-program has profoundly improved the efficiency of passenger information registration, and has effectively reduced the risk of cross-infection posed by the previous hand-written method of collecting information, said Tian Zhimeng, head of the Marketing Division in Sichuan Road Transport Administrative Bureau, adding that if there's any confirmed COVID-19 cases, they notify passengers on the same trip, and find them with speed and accuracy.

Starting from September 30, more than 60 passengers with a history of travelling to medium- and high-risk areas took the buses. Each one was identified by the program. Officials say the information was handed to the health commission to streamline preventive management.

(Cover: Transportation authorities in SW China carry out preventive measures against COVID-19 during the National Day holiday. /CGTN)

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