Since September, in Lille and its suburbs, it starts again every morning and every evening. Regional trains that are too short, travelers who crowd together and worry about the risk of contamination on board crowded trains. “I do not find that normal, this is where we have a lot of contacts”, worries a user. Another regular on the line wonders: “We are forbidden to go out, on the other hand, we are on top of each other in transport”.
On social networks, anxious messages are multiplying “Welcome aboard the TER cluster 16392”, indignant a user. Until the president of the region who fears that the trains he finances will become hotbeds of contamination.
“In the cinemas, in the theaters, there, we have to be with a space between the two, not in the trains why? Because it is the profitability of the SNCF which counts and it is the State which is shareholder, one makes fun of the world ”, laments Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts de France region.
In the Hauts de France region, SNCF recognizes a particularly difficult situation. She explains the overcrowded trains by problems of staff absent because of covid19, and by a lack of trains, due to delays in repairs since containment.
The authorities, to reassure, put forward a study by Public Health France which found only 1.2% of clusters in public transport. According to this infectious disease specialist, the risk of contracting covid on a crowded train is very real. And the number of outbreaks of contamination would be underestimated.
“It is very likely that this figure is underestimated for a very simple reason, those who travel around you, you do not know them, you have no coordinates, you cannot find them”, explains Daniel Camus, infectious disease specialist at the Institut Pasteur in Lille
Impossible under these conditions to trace the contact cases, to identify the possibly contaminated people. Contacted, the Ministry of Transport wants agents to regulate the flow of travelers and calls for the responsibility of employers, who to avoid crowded trains, could stagger the working hours of their employees.