No trace of coronavirus found in tests at major English stations

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No trace of the coronavirus has been found in tests carried out at four major train stations and on intercity train services, Network Rail said.

Places that passengers regularly touch, such as handles of escalators, ticket machines and benches, were swabbed, while hour-long air samples were taken.

Two rounds of tests were carried out at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly stations in January and June. The tests were repeated on the trains running between the stations.

Examination of the results by Imperial College London did not reveal any contamination with Covid-19 of any surface or particles of the virus suspended in the air.

Rob Mole, Senior Program Director for Network Rail’s Pandemic Response, said: “Station cleaning crews and train staff are on a mission to protect passengers during the pandemic and this is proof. that their dedicated approach works.

“We want all passengers to travel with confidence on the rail network and we will continue to do our part by thoroughly cleaning trains and stations.

“We ask passengers to do their part as well by wearing face covers during the trip, out of respect for others, so that we can all stop the spread of Covid-19. “

The government dropped the legal requirement for people to wear face coverings in environments such as public transport in England on July 19.

David Green, Principal Investigator at Imperial College London, said: “In the same way that a swab is used to perform a Covid-19 test in the nose and throat and sent to the lab, we use a filter to collect any virus. particles in the air and swabs to collect viruses on surfaces.

“This approach provides a way to quantify the amount of virus circulating in these public environments and the effect of mitigation strategies such as cleaning and wearing face coverings.

“This is part of a larger program of work with the public transport industry to understand where this virus is most prevalent so that we can resume pre-pandemic activities in the safest way possible. “

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