Tubes are STILL packed as London Undrground uses new anti-viral sprayMarch 27, 2020
‘Will it stop people sneezing in a packed carriage at rush hour’: Now Sadiq Khan orders tubes to be hosed with new ‘anti-viral spray’ he claims will ‘keep carriages safe for 30 days’ as commuters wait 20 MINUTES to ram into packed carriages AGAIN
- Network busy again today – on day four of lockdown – with people packed ‘like sardines’ on Tube and buses
- London Underground is running a reduced service on all lines leading to commuters cramming into trains
- Mayor Sadiq Khan says he will have to cut services further as staff sickness went from 20% to 33% this week
- NHS staff have said that they are more worried about commuting than caring for coronavirus patients
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- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
London’s Tube trains are packed with key workers again today as new footage emerged of staff spraying carriages with disinfectant London Underground claims will kill coronavirus on seats and handrails for up to a month.
Footage of the anti-viral spray being applied by a Tube worker in a Hazmat-type suit emerged today – but commuters have said the best medicine would be for Sadiq Khan to return services to normal levels.
More shocking pictures of packed carriages and platforms emerged again today due to there being an insufficient number of trains to carry people with no choice but to go to work, including medics on the frontline saving lives. And the wait for trains was up to 20 minutes on some lines during rush hour.
Bosses claim the agent can provide anti-viral protection for up to 30 days – but Sky News revealed they started testing it on trains a fortnight ago.
Commenting on the video one commuter said: ‘Great, but not all its passengers are free from the virus’ accusing the Mayor of London of throwing ‘social distancing out the door’.
One critic tweeted: ‘Does it stop someone sneezing on someone in a packed carriage at rush hour?’ while another wrote: ‘These mist systems DO NOT kill virus’s for 30 days…they work, but not long term like that. They don’t have lab results to back it up’.
Transport for London is using the anti-viral fluid currently used in hospitals to clean stations and trains as well as the capital’s buses.
Footage of a Tube train’s seats and poles being sprayed with an anti-viral fluid emerged today as the row over a lack of trains for key workers rumbled on
London Underground is busy today as large numbers continue to have to work in the capital in the NHS and key businesses
Carriages are busy again today with commuters on the fourth day of Britain’s unprecedented lockdown
The Mayor of London, who has sparked fury and defied the Prime Minister by cutting Tube services while blaming staff sickness at Transport for London, is being accused of ‘risking lives’ because of the conditions on the trains.
And he angered commuters yesterday by tweeting: ‘One in three TfL staff are off sick or self-isolating: we cannot run more services. Employers: staff must work from home wherever possible to help protect our key workers who need to travel. If you have to go to work, please don’t travel at rush hour.’
Social media users criticised what they described as a ‘no can do’ attitude and accused Mr Khan of ‘purposely trying to undermine the Government in the UK’s hour of need’, while others said: ‘Step aside if you can’t cope.’
Denise Bennett said: ‘Message from daughter, going to work as a nurse in London – ‘Tube station is rammed’. How can she stay safe, keep her patients safe when she has to travel to work like this, Sadiq Khan?’
Debz Lipsphil was on the Tube today and tweeted: ‘Sadiq Khan, why have you reduced the Tube service? Key workers are forced to be squashed together! Nuts! Thanks for that stupid unsafe idea!’ Meanwhile Richard Heath said: ‘No wonder the country (is) not taking this serious when the London Tube (is) still like f***ing sardines’.
And Patricia Pereira posted: ‘Jubilee line service packed, Waterloo station escalators out of use forcing people to use the ones that are working and be extremely near. Three TfL staff by gate line talking, no one manage the crowd (or) helping on social distancing! I am a key worker, I don’t want to get ill!’
MailOnline’s Piers Morgan tweeted: ‘Ridiculous. Come on Mayor Sadiq Khan – you must run enough trains for people to maintain 2m distancing or they will infect each other and be unable to provide essential work. Sort it’.
Mr Khan has axed the Tube’s Night service, and drivers on that shift could be drafted in to ease pressure during the day – with workers saying staff are ‘dropping like flies’ with about a third off sick or going into self-isolation.
However early-morning Tube use today was down 13 per cent on the previous day, while bus use was down 8 per cent. Passenger numbers yesterday morning were down 92 per cent compared with the same day last year.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has tweeted about reduced Tube usage today and urged people to only travel if essential
Critics including MailOnline’s Piers Morgan have urged Sadiq Khan to put on more Tube trains to avoid spreading coronavirus
Some passengers stated that their Tube journeys were quieter than normal today. Twitter user @mortimusprime-x posted two pictures showing carriages with empty seats, and wrote: ‘My normally packed #tubes this morning on the way to work… thank you to all those staying at home #keyworker £keepsafe #stayathome.’
One in three of TfL staff are ill or in self-isolation – including large numbers of drivers and customer-facing workers – with the sickness figures appearing to be disproportionately higher than among frontline workers in the NHS, police and fire services.
Some have blamed the strength of the Tube unions and their threat to pull away members for the high level of staff absence.
But one Tube driver told BBC London: ‘We are attacked no matter what we do. Most of us have families and because people who should be in quarantine or practising social distancing aren’t following guidelines we are being exposed to the virus even more. We are dropping like flies.’
Another driver told the broadcaster: ‘We have 30/80 drivers off and half the managers. We are trying our best. We want to do more but we don’t decide the service levels.’
MailOnline can reveal that during rush hour today some Underground lines are currently only running one train every 20 minutes, when it should be one every three to five minutes, causing more crammed conditions in ‘death trap’ carriages and on heaving platforms.
Commuters hold onto bars as they pack onto a Central line Underground train into the capital this morning
Commuters wait for a Central line train at Stratford station on the London Underground this morning
Passengers sit on a London Underground Circle line train this morning as the UK continues to be on lockdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said: ‘My own view is that we should be able to run a better Tube system at the moment, we should be able to get more Tubes on the line.’
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He claimed ‘I do not wish in any way to cast aspersions on what is going on at TfL’, and pledged to give the mayor ‘every support’ to get through ‘what seems to me to be his present logistical difficulties’.
As deaths in the capital doubled, the Mayor of London is facing mounting fury and pressure to restore services to normal levels with some NHS workers claiming they are now more worried about travelling to work than treating coronavirus patients in hospital.
But in a statement Mayor Khan revealed more train services will go and said: ‘Nearly a third of TfL’s staff are now off sick or self-isolating – including train drivers and crucial control centre staff.
Commuters at Canning Town Station in East London this morning wait to board a Jubilee line Underground service
A police officer stands guard at Canning Town station in East London today as people continue to travel by Tube
London Underground passengers wait to board a Tube train at Canning Town station in East London this morning
Underground commuters board and alight from a train at Canning Town station in East London this morning
‘Many of them have years of safety-critical training in order to run specific lines – so it is simply not possible to replace them with others.
Police patrols stop train passengers for spot checks to enforce the coronavirus lockdown
Police patrols have been stopping train passengers for spot checks in a bid to enforce the coronavirus lockdown.
Officers have been seen patrolling train stations in Swansea to check passengers should only be making ‘essential’ journeys.
Passengers at Swansea train station were asked for proof of their travel plans – and urged to take a single journey to their destination and home again.
Police are being given powers to issue £30 on-the-spot fines to those breaking the lockdown – and court appearances for non-payment.
South Wales Police declined to comment on the specifics of what officers were doing at Swansea station.
The force’s chief constable, Matt Jukes, has previously said: ‘South Wales Police has a track record of maintaining public order and safety in huge events and at times of emergency. We have always done so positively, with pride and professionalism.
‘So, we will continue to do what we do best – engage with people. We will ask them to support their communities and stick to these important restrictions.
‘As the public would expect, we will also enforce the existing law when this is necessary and new legal powers, as they come into effect.’
‘TfL will do everything possible to continue safely running a basic service for key workers, including our amazing NHS staff, but if the number of TfL staff off sick or self-isolating continues to rise – as we sadly expect it will – we will have no choice but to reduce services further.’.
There were grim scenes on the Tube again today where commuters with no choice but to go to work were faced to stand nose-to-nose with strangers on teeming trains.
Key worker Tony Drew tweeted: ‘No-one is listening to you and don’t need to reduce the service as much as you have. You need to get more trains on and stop putting the lives of key workers like me at risk’.
Kate Mat wrote: ‘I have zero respect for Sadiq & TFL! Are they really blind or just heartless??! They are putting key workers life in danger!!!! Nurses, doctors and other key workers can’t practice social distancing on cramped tubes!’
A senior nurse named Danny posted on Twitter: ‘Another busy tube. Can we not stagger people’s start times so we aren’t all squashed on the same tube! This is unsafe and not fair!’
And Barry Trimble, whose work involves ensuring cancer patients receive chemotherapy, posted: ‘The Tube is packed, with social distancing impossible. We need more people to stay at home and more trains running in morning and evening peak.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there is ‘no good reason’ Tube services have been slashed and Mr Johnson also questioned why up to three quarters of services had been axed in a call with Mr Khan yesterday.
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Mother of premature baby says she is worried about taking the Tube to visit her son in hospital in as chef and waitress struggle to travel amid Underground chaos
A nurse who had just finished a 12-hour night shift blasted London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to cut tube services back even further fearing that it may cost vital NHS staff their lives as they battle against the coronavirus crisis.
Sally Hards, 60, who works in a paediatric ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London, had just disembarked from a Central line train at Ealing Broadway station, fuming that carriages are more packed than before and the service less regular.
She told MailOnline: ‘It’s taking me twice as long to get to work now and sometimes the carriages are busier. It’s harder to keep a two-metre distance and this increases the chances of becoming infected with coronavirus.
Sally Hards, 60, who works in a paediatric ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London, had just disembarked from a Central line train at Ealing Broadway station, and said that carriages are more packed than before and the service less regular
‘The nation needs all NHS staff at the moment, whatever area we are working in. Morale is very good amongst us, we’ve all pulled together and our doing our bit. But I wonder if the authorities in London are doing theirs? Restricting the underground even more is not going to help us.’
Ms Hards added: ‘There are still people getting on the tube who shouldn’t be on it. I want the underground restricted only for NHS staff and other key workers and for there to be a regular service.’
Nurse Michelle Hinds, 42, who works at Ealing Hospital in West London, seethed that the one-hour journey from her home in north London is now taking her twice as long and sometimes more.
‘It took me two-and-a-half hours to get home yesterday, which is ridiculous. We should be getting home quickly and safely. I have to change trains twice and one of them was very busy. I love my job but I’m full of fear each time I get on the underground,’ she added.
Occupational therapist Jess Hodnett, 21, who works at a mental health hospital she did not want to name, said: ‘There are all kind of people who still need help, it’s not just about coronavirus so the NHS needs to keep going.
‘I can see why they may want to reduce Underground services because they want less people to use it but that’s not going to be good for us. It will just mean busier carriages and longer waits on platforms.’
Occupational therapist Jess Hodnett, 21, said: ‘I can see why they may want to reduce Underground services because they want less people to use it but that’s not going to be good for us. It will just mean busier carriages and longer waits on platforms’
Despite an increase in the number of people working from home, there was still a steady flow of passengers at Ealing Broadway station, which is served by two underground lines and overland trains.
Security officials and police patrolled the entrance to the station, advising passengers that they should only travel if their journey is essential.
Rajeev Shrestra, 37, a Police Community Support Officer for British Transport Police, told MailOnline that he had been at the station since 7am.
He said: ‘We’re just asking people to think about their journey and if they really need to make it? The majority of those we have spoken to have been NHS staff or construction workers and everybody is travelling because they have to.
‘We’ve not turned any one away and everybody has been very polite and understanding; my job has never been easier. I think people are at last getting the message that they should only make essential journeys. To be honest, we’re really on the lookout for gangs of teenagers who are off school and think it would be a good opportunity to go for a day out.’
Tanya Sakpa, 39, was taking the underground from her home in Ealing to Harlesden, North West London, to buy African food accompanied by her three sons; Karl, six, Kaleb, five, and Kallai, two-and-a-half. (From left) Karl, Kalli, Ms Sakpa and Kaleb
Irfan Ijaz, 50, who works at Spitalfields Fruit and Veg Market in East London, where he had just finished a night shift, said: ‘The underground service is much worse, you have to wait longer for trains and the carriages are busier. I’m worried enough as it is about using public transport at this time and this is just getting me more stressed.’
Tanya Sakpa, 39, was taking the underground from her home in Ealing to Harlesden, North West London, to buy African food accompanied by her three sons; Karl, six, Kaleb, five, and Kallai, two-and-a-half.
She said: ‘I haven’t got anything left to eat at home and Harlesden is the nearest place to me for African food. Of course, I’m worried about taking the underground but what else can I do? The children are off school and getting very bored, but I can’t leave them at home on their own because my husband is out at work.’
Agnieszka Madura, 35, a trader in alcoholic beverages revealed that she was taking the underground to her office in the City of London to complete a ‘very important assignment.’
She joked: ‘I’ve got several containers of alcohol on ships waiting to get into port and be offloaded. I’ve been working from home these past few days but had to go to the office because the original documents are there.
‘The nation could probably do with a drink at a time like this so you could say I’m a key worker.’
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