Minibus operators island wide are getting tested for the coronavirus.
Health officials made arrangements for their testing to begin on Sunday, Oct. 11, one day after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis of one of their colleagues.
The President of the National Council of Public Transportation (NCOPT), Godfrey Ferdinand, encouraged minibus operators not to panic, and to avail themselves for testing as health officials conduct investigations and contact tracing activities.
“We had a very good response from the majority of minibus operators and the testing will continue into Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “We have had a few reluctant individuals and there are also persons who are fearful naturally, of any kind of medical tests, so we are still working to encourage all to get assessed for COVID-19.”
The leniencies offered to the minibus sector on seating capacity have been revoked.
A maximum of ten individuals may now occupy a public minibus. The NCOPT President hopes this will persuade minibus operators to run a tight ship.
“Presently, transporting ten people per minibus is a concern because it means profitability is at zero, and that we are just offering a service. So operators are not in high spirits about that, and with the possibility that there might be community spread, this is of even greater concern to operators,” Mr. Ferdinand said. “But what this particular case has done is that it has allowed persons to see the importance of following protocols.
Commissioner of Police, Severin Moncherry, has also announced a zero-tolerance policy for breaking mandatory mask laws on public transport.