PSVs in three counties ‘exposing’ travellers to killer virus

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Matatus parked at a terminus in Nairobi’s central business district. Photo/PD/FILE

Christine Musa and KNA

Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators in Kirinyaga, Kajiado and Murang’a counties are on the spot for exposing travellers to high risks of contracting the Coronavirus by overloading and failing to sanitise the vehicles.

Over the weekend, transport was paralysed in the counties areas after police raided the vehicles that did not adhere to the guidelines.

PSVs are supposed to get certification from the Health Department and National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to ensure they adhere to measures put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

In Murang’a, transport was paralysed after police descended on the PSV’s flouting the guidelines.

Some of the vehicles were intercepted and nabbed after they were found operating without the required certification by  MoH.

Illegal operations

Passengers in some routes were left stranded as police moved to enforce MoH regulations to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

Murang’a North Traffic Commandant Julius Marwa said they had arrested about 30 drivers who were operating without clearance from the Health Department.  

All PSVs, Marwa noted, are being subjected for inspection and after they are found compliant in meeting the required conditions, they are issued with certification allowing them to continue with businesses.

“Majority of Saccos in Murang’a have met the health protocols but there are those who are trying to hide and we have deployed officers to nab the culprits,” noted the commandant. 

Expresses concern

Murang’a County Public Officer Muthui Gitonga said the exercise of inspecting matatus was going on and owners of the vehicles should ensure they have certification before ferrying passengers. 

Muthui appealed to those working in the matatu sector to adhere to given health protocols to control spread of Covid-19. 

In Kirinyiga County, the residents interviewed expressed concerns that the operators were profit-minded and had no regard for the safety guidelines.

At the Embu bus park, travelers upon being identified are supposed to write down particulars including the national identification card, and their mobile phone number on a handbook.

However, one traveler who after boarding the matatu said that the details entered in the handbook were fake, as they could not help them trace her in the event she was a contact of a Covid-19 positive case. 

“What is more worrying is the fact that the pen they give you to put down the details on the book is passed from one passenger to another without being sanitised,” the traveler said.

Another traveler James Kariuki who boarded a Kerugoya bound matatu in Nairobi recalled how the driver after Makuyu in Muranga kept on dropping and picking other passengers along the way.

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