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The New York City Subway in the US has witnessed a steep decrease in daily ridership amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The total subway ridership dropped 18.5% on 11 March, compared with the same day a year ago.

New York City Subway is operated by New York City Transit Authority, a part of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The city’s commuter rail services Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road also witnessed sharp fall in footfalls, reported New York Post citing an MTA spokesperson.

The data comes at a time when MTA announced to increase the frequency of sanitising procedures across New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

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Under the revised plan, the stations will be disinfected twice daily while rolling stock will be cleaned daily with a full fleet of train cars and buses completed every 72 hours or less.

In addition, frequently touched surfaces in stations such as ticket vending machines and handrails are now being sanitised twice every day.

MTA chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye said: “Our top priority is to ensure we are doing all we can to make the system as safe as possible for customers and employees.

“We are investigating new advanced disinfectant methods to build on the round-the-clock efforts our hard-working employees are undertaking to sanitise the system.”

In a separate development, US-based passenger railroad service Amtrak also announced to have increased cleaning services on trains and at stations.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the US has crossed 1,700. The global figure stands at 133,889, with the death toll nearing 5,000.