The chairperson of the Uganda Transport Development Agency (UTRADA), Mayambala Mustafa has urged all the tax divers and conductors to elevate the fight against coronavirus in different parks across the country.
“Drivers and conductors should tighten the fight against coronavirus by ensuring the presence of sanitizers, gloves, water tanks and detergents in all parks across the country so that we can intensify the fight against this virus,” he said.
His comments came at a time when Uganda confirmed 9 cases of Coronavirus.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunrise, Mayambala asked the ministry of health to distribute more sanitizers in all parks in the country in order to ease the fight against COVID-19 in all public means of transport.
The deadly disease of COVID-19 is caused by coronavirus and has spread to over 100 countries since it first broke out in China’s province of Hubei in December 2019.
He called upon passengers, drivers and conductors to follow the guidelines put in place in all parks to combat the disease.
“The challenge, we are facing as drivers is that most of our parks are very open, having very many escape routes where anyone can pass and go. Please let us protect our lives by following the outlined preventive measures,” he said.
He added that though the association does not have enough money to purchase some of the necessities, a lot of effort is being put in place to acquire them.
“We are doing all these as volunteers we don’t have money but we need to make sure that we are in line with the government in the fight against coronavirus,” he said.
He further urged all the drivers to refrain from hiking transport fare like in festive season.
“I urge the drivers and conductors that this is a crucial time, let’s get together and don’t increase transport fare. All of you can see the situation, we are going through. This is not festive season,” Mayambala said.
He also expressed his concern that some traders are taking advantage of the situation by increasing the prices of gloves, sanitizers among others which will make the matter worse.
“The prices of sanitizers keep on increasing each day. We use our money as drivers to access these items for the good of our lives and if we fail to buy them, we shall make the situation worse, we ask the authorities to intervene,” he said.
He reiterated that passengers, conductors and drivers should to take the matter serious and wash their hands before boarding any vehicle.
He also revealed that the association wrote to the ministry of health requesting for the skilled personnel who can teach them more about the virus.
“We want the ministry of health to provide us with trainers who can train our drivers and conductors some of the precautionary measures. There is a lot that we don’t know regarding these preventive measures,” he said.
The president of Kampala City Friends Joseph Kasibante also urged the press to avoid exaggerating any matter regarding the spread of coronavirus.
“Social media is another coronavirus. It can destroy a nation, it can cause war, it can cause catastrophe; the information there can really mislead the public. Journalists should avoid getting news from such platforms,” he said.
He also called upon politicians to come together and support the guidelines put in place by the ministry of health in the containment and prevention of the deadly virus.
Ahimbisibwe John a taxi driver operating at old Kampala Park said they have instituted compulsory handwashing with sanitizers to all passengers boarding their taxis especially in the area of Kampala Old Park.
According to taxi operators and drivers, the move is in line with the implementation of the presidential directive on combating the spread of Covid-19.
“Here at the park it’s a must to wash hands and if one refuses, he or she is not allowed to board the taxi. We are so strict,” he said.
Namatovu Julian, a passenger expressed her gratitude towards the initiative adapted by these parks in the fight against this deadly virus.
“I am glad for what is being done here at the park but some parks don’t have enough sanitizers, water tanks and detergents but i ask all passengers to abide by the guidelines, “she added.