During the coronavirus epidemic, which affects our country as well as the whole world, we have shown our sensitivity to the issue by taking measures for the health of our passengers and employees, before the case has been announced in our country yet. We implemented all measures strictly since the first days of the pandemic, we also implemented corrections where it was necessary and followed the developments quickly.
Our Measures before March 2020
We examined the regulations and studies carried out around the world by following domestic and established contacts with foreign operators, transportation authorities and organisations. Metro Istanbul updated its action plans and practices executed within the framework of preliminary measures after the examinations and evaluations of Metro Istanbul Workplace Health Board, together with the explanations of the Ministry of Health, the Scientific Committee and the relevant state institutions. Metro Istanbul took measures, evaluated and discussed scenarios of the possible pandemic in our country and executed its plans accordingly.
In this context, Metro Istanbul carried out long-term effective silver ion disinfection practices in vehicle interiors and at stations. The prepared action plan was also shared with international public transportation groups such as TURSAD (Turkish Rail System Operators Association), UITP and Comet.
Our Current Measures for Our Passengers
As Turkey's largest urban rail systems operator, carrying more than 2 million passengers every day in the pre-pandemic period, Metro Istanbul implemented many measures in order to protect the health of our passengers and employees and to contribute to the prevention of the spread of the pandemic.
First, all kinds of equipment and surfaces that our passengers and employees come into contact with, including the interior areas of all our vehicles and the turnstiles, ticket machines, elevators, escalators, travellators, fixed stair handrails and seating areas in our stations, are periodically disinfected with disinfectant substances. In addition, we placed hand sanitiser boxes, made them available in the relevant areas of our stations and vehicles, and informed our passengers about this practice.
Metro Istanbul prepared films and visuals related to disinfection and cleaning activities in order to reduce the psychological pressure on our passengers and to provide them with accurate information. We shared and are sharing these works on our vehicles and stations, on digital screens and on our social media accounts.
Despite the decrease in the number of passengers, in accordance with the decisions of the IMM Metro Istanbul decided to continue the services in a way that would not make our passengers suffer. We monitored our passengers with thermal cameras at our crucial stations, prevented passengers with high fever from getting into the passenger areas, and directed to the nearest health institution.
Within the scope of the Covid-19, combat measures taken by the Presidency, our passengers we constantly informed our passengers about the issue and followed up after the obligation to use masks for passengers using public transport. In accordance with the decision of the Provincial Public Health Council, Metro Istanbul carried out arrangements for sitting and waiting areas in order to comply with the social distancing rules in public transportation vehicles and stations. With these regulations, seating and waiting areas are marked in a way to maintain social distance and we posted announcements in stations and in vehicles, and we informed our passengers with announcements.
Within the framework of the Presidency, Ministry of Interior, Istanbul Governor's Office and Provincial Hygiene Council, Metro Istanbul took fast and effective decisions in the tariff regulations and the implemented necessary changes in the field quickly. Metro Istanbul carried out an arrangement on June 4th, 2020, in accordance with the normalisation decisions taken by the Provincial General Hygiene Council, in such a way that all the seats and 50% of the standing passenger capacity (AW4 standard) is occupied in the rail system vehicles.
Our Current Measures for Our Employees
In our train cabins, the contact surfaces of our train drivers and the usage areas in the compounds are disinfected with disinfectant, and hand disinfectants are purchased for the use of our train drivers and distributed to the field according to the plan. In addition, we placed hand disinfectant boxes at all compound entrances and in the relevant areas of our buildings and made available for use. Entrances to control centres and rest areas have been restricted to minimise possible contact risks with infected persons. We prevented the contact of the shifts with each other by ensuring that the train driver and station attendants work in the same shift.
We started temperature measurements with non-contact devices at the entrances of the compounds and controlled entrances with the HES Code. We started giving administrative leave for our employees with chronic health problems, employees with disabilities pregnant and over 60 years old, in accordance with the Presidential decree. We supported the #evdekal practice by enabling as few employees as possible to go out with Remote Working and Rotating Working systems for our office employees. We changed the seating arrangements in our eating and drinking areas, and we started the closed package practice in order to prevent the risk of contamination.
We identified the employees who had travelled abroad and followed them up within the scope of the Ministry of Health Action Plan. We prepared a case follow-up form for the employees who got sick inside or outside the company, and we initiated instant follow-ups. Metro Istanbul informed our employees and companies in order to establish communication with suppliers via telephone and e-mail, and to keep visitor entries and company visits to a minimum. It has been decided to hold all meetings and meetings online, regardless of whether it is internal or external to the company. Emergency Action was/is shared with the employees by making changes in the procedures and principles with the "coronavirus" agenda in the OHS Board.
The OHS Board published the procedure regarding the post-isolation start-up processes of Covid positive or employees in contact with a positive case, and the process of obtaining Workplace Physician approval was initiated. In addition, for the negative test result after isolation, we signed agreements with private health institutions for our employees to have the tests done free of charge.
We conducted square meter calculations for all closed areas in our compounds and facilities in accordance with the decision of the Provincial Hygiene Board, and the number of people who could be present at the same time was determined for each area. Metro Istanbul provided information with hanged signs showing the number of people at the entrances and interior areas of these areas. After all these practices, the feedback received, the reflections from the passengers, the statements and warnings made by IMM and the Ministry of Health were evaluated and action plans were created for the next phase.