Minibus operators accept 2 per seat ‘physical distancing’ measure

Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) has agreed to reduce passengers capacity to two people per sit in a quest to protect citizens from corona virus pandemic.

Malawi responding aggressively to the pandemic. Elsewhere a woman wears a mask as a preventive measure inside a minibus taxi 

Moam together with officials from road traffic made the resolution on Thursday during a meeting aimed at finding ways of protecting passengers from the deadly virus despite the country not registering a single case.

National chairperson  for Moam, Felix Mbonekera said  that effective 1st April this year all minibuses will be carrying two passengers per seat.

“Together with road traffic directorate, we have instituted a task force which will be doing spot check in the roads to ensure that all the minibuses which have sealed windows at the back should be open and on sitting capacity we have agreed to minimize only for this period of Covid-19.

“Each minibus should carry two people per sit which means that we have removed one passenger per sit, from there some officials from MOAM and traffic police will help us in enforcing the recommendations,” he said.

Mbonekera indicated that strict measures have been put in place to make sure that the new recommendations are fully followed by drivers.

Failure by drivers to adhere to the recommendations will risk them losing their licenses and the vehicle road permit.

However, one minibus driver in Blantyre using Ndirande to Blantyre Central Business District route, James Jali, expressed concern that the fear of COVID-19 has impacted businesses negatively with passengers opting to walk in fear of contracting the virus.

“We are losing a lot of money with this pandemic because people nowadays prefer walking by foot in fear of contracting coronavirus in minibuses due to congestion,” he said.

On the recommendation to follow two passengers per seat instituted by the taskforce as one way of ensuring safety of passengers, Jali said they will comply for the betterment of people despite looking for money.

“Come 1st April 2020 there is need for minibus operators to follow what the task force is saying because when am hearing of corona virus on radios it seems it’s a deadly disease. We want money yes but we should also consider our lives and that of our passengers,” Jali said.

Currently, no Coronavirus case has been confirmed in Malawi despite the diseases registering in some neighboring countries.

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S smith
S smith
3 years ago

Just yesterday at around 630 in the evening saw minibus packed with passengers driving off. It’s all very well having regulations but one needs to enforce it . One can’t rely on the minibus operators to abide by it the traffic police needs to enforce.

3 years ago

Very good move I was really worried to we that minibuses are packed to the fullest as usual when we are aware of the dangers of this disease.This is overdue.

3 years ago

Our only strength as a country is on prevention..if we fail on prevention, mmm we will lose it all sure…lets do the prevention at all coast…

3 years ago

We need to follow these instructions at all cost otherwise we can’t stand the impact of this disease as a country

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