The metro in the Indian capital, Delhi, has reopened more than five months after it was shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It’s India’s largest rapid transport system – it carried 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown.
Masks, social distancing and temperature checks are mandatory according to the new rules.
India’s coronavirus infections surged past 4.2 million on Monday as it overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases.
With 4,204,613 infections, India is nearly 70,000 cases ahead of Brazil.
India, with a daily record 90,802 cases on Monday, also has the fastest-growing case load. The United States, with more than 6 million cases, remains the worst-affected country.
Deaths in India have been relatively low so far, but it has posted more than 1,000 deaths for each of the last five days.
On Monday, India’s health ministry said 1,016 people died of COVID-19, taking total mortalities to 71,642.
Despite the risks, India continues to reopen because the economy is still reeling from the effects of a prolonged lockdown.
At least 12 other metro services across the country are also reopening today.
Delhi has reported a recent uptick in cases and fatalities after the numbers dipped briefly. But the city has been steadily reopening, with bars set to open next week.
The metro, however, is especially risky given the volume of passengers, and the fact that it covers large swathes of the sprawling capital.
But officials have released detailed rules to curb the spread of the virus.
Some 800 people will be deployed at all stations to “ensure the cleanliness and orderliness inside stations”, and to regulate entry and exit of passengers, Metro officials said.
All passengers will be screened and have to sanitise their hands before entering the stations. Forty five stations have been provided with machines, which will screen commuters and sanitise their hands. Masks will be provided to passengers not wearing them.
Metro authorities say the concourse, passages, platforms, stairs, escalators, hand rails and toilets will be disinfected every four hours.
Trains will skip stations in areas with a high number of coronavirus cases, and where commuters are violating social distancing norms, they added.