Bus crews, including drivers, conductors, and loaders, will not be allowed into Mbare Musika long-distance bus terminus before they produce a certificate showing they tested negative for Covid-19, and yesterday the terminus was being walled while boreholes were being drilled to provide the necessary water for washing.
Buses will not be allowed to enter the terminus without displaying a thermometer, disinfecting gadgets, and sanitizers. Bus companies are now required to keep registers of visitors, sanitize passengers, and disinfect vehicles after every trip. Bus windows need to be kept open whenever possible and sick staff must stay at home, regardless of the presumed illness.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has drawn up a list of standard operating procedures to ensure that there is strict adherence to the World Health Organisation Covid-19 guidelines.
There has been a growing need for intercity travel, often for good reasons, with truck drivers and pirate operators taking advantage by providing unsafe travel.
Zimbabwe Passenger and Transporters Association (ZPTA), an association of 45 bus operators, yesterday erected a palisade fence around Mbare long-distance bus terminus and drilled two boreholes. This is to make sure the place is well secured and has running water for people to wash on entering and exiting the place as well as washing down buses.
Construction workers were erecting the perimeter fence at the site yesterday. The association’s secretary-general, Mr. Wilfred Chibage said the move was meant to complement Government efforts in fighting Covid-19 and prevent unnecessary movement within the terminus.
“We liked the decision to allow intercity and urban to rural traveling,” he said. “We planned that before getting back on the road, we must come up with preventative measures to make sure that everyone is safe. We have been given a standard operating procedure from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to follow. We then said before we get back on the road we must fix Mbare Musika which is used as a dispatching area.”
Bus operators appreciated the need to secure the terminus by having a controlled entrance and exit point. He said buses will have one entrance where they will be disinfected and checked before getting into the rank.
“No bus crews will be allowed to get into Mbare Musika without showing certificates that they have been tested for Covid-19,” said Mr Chibage. “The fencing will help us in preventing unnecessary movement within Mbare Musika and we will ensure that there is social distancing too.