KAMPALA – The government has threatened to close public transport following revelations that they are contributing to a rising spike in COVID-19 infections.
The Minister of Works and Transport, General Edward Katumba Wamala, on Monday, August 17, 2020, warned that taxis and boda bodas may be closed again after Uganda on Sunday registered the highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day.
“Fellow Ugandans, it has come to my attention that some taxi operators and motorists are not obeying the COVID19 guidelines in place. With the increasing cases of community transmission, we may be forced to halt public transport,” he said on Twitter.
Uganda on registered 66 new covid-19 cases making these the highest cases recorded in a day.
This brings the total number of cases to 1, 500. Out of the cases registered yesterday 30 are alerts from Kampala , six from Namisindwa, seven from Wakiso , 10 from Tororo, Moroto, Katakwi, Buikwe, Bukwo, Bundibugyo, Mbale, Isingiro, Hoima and Buliisa.
Public transport was reopened in June following close to three months of closure over COVID-19.
Recently Ms Betty Amongi the minister for Kampala Affairs said the hotspots in Kampala are arcades, public and private transport, workplaces, and slum areas.
“We have had 50 per cent increase in Kampala, we opened arcades, and two arcades have registered people who tested positive, workplaces are a major risk factor, public transport majority of the people who have been picked testing positive, have either moved in taxis or used boda bodas and in this area tracking has become very complicated because same taxis usually take three or five routes in a day,” Ms Amongi said last week on Thursday.
Guidelines to be followed include;
·Provide hand washing facilities (running water with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers) to the public and ensure passengers use them before boarding.
·Clean/Sanitize/Disinfect the taxi or bus after every trip paying attention to seats, armrests and handles.
·Do not overload the taxi or bus to allow airflow and to avoid people being too close to each other.
·Drivers and conductors should have adequate protection such as masks and gloves ready for use in case they are needed.
·Ensure that safe waste disposal facilities are provided and passengers communicated to
·Managers, drivers and conductors need to understand how Coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted and provide regular health education to their passengers.
·Always wear face masks as well as the passengers
·Boda bodas to always record personal information of their customers in a record book in case they have to refer to some of them after the journey. The Ministry of Health