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General News of Monday, 6 July 2020

Source: Happy 98.9FM

There is no evidence of coronavirus transmission in public transports – GPRTU

The National Vice Chairman of Ghana Private Road Transport Union of Ghana (GPRTU), Robert Sarbah, has said that commercial drivers will likely revert to the previous number of passengers to scale up their sales amid the COVID-19.

According to him, research by the Union has revealed that there is no evidence of people contracting the COVID-19 disease through contacts in public transport and as such increasing the number of passengers will not pose any problems.

While the Union have said that they are considering two alternatives to avoid loss, namely, increase fares or return to the previous number of passengers in their vehicles, Robert Sarbah has disclosed that the latter is preferred by the union.

In an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, he expressed, “We would have preferred that we will take the previous number of passengers. If the passengers put on their nose mask, I think the passengers will be safe. Anyone who doesn’t put on his or her nose mask will be turned away. This has happened before in the period of John Agyekum Kuffour. First, the vehicles used to take four but they were directed to take three and that increased the fares but the passengers understood it. In the same vein, if the Government won’t allow us to take our usual passengers then the fare should be increased. That will bring peace”.

When quizzed by host Samuel Eshun if increasing the number of passengers will be the best, considering the surge in COVID-19 cases, Robert Sarbah had these to say: “While the cases increase, there is no evidence that the cases are as a result of our public transport system. We have done our research but I cannot disclose my source”.

He furthered that the Union is yet to meet with the Minister of Transport to deliberate on the best option to take.

About a month ago, some drivers’ unions threatened to increase transport fares following an increment in the BOST margin by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) from 3 pesewas to 6 pesewas. The drivers also lamented that the reduction of the number of passengers they take on board in adherence to the social distancing directive has affected the sales they make.

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