Coronavirus Fallout

Public buses ignore health guidelines

Staff Correspondent

5 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Within four days of resumption of public transport services, most of the buses in the capital are not following hygiene rules, posing risk of rapid coronavirus transmission.

Although there are instructions to follow the health guidelines in public transport, buses are ignoring them.

According to the government instructions, public transports are supposed to check temperatures of passengers while picking up them, but no public buses complies with it from the very first day.

While visiting Mirpur, Farmgate and Airport areas in the capital on Thursday, the daily sun correspondent found that most buses were not spraying disinfectants inside the vehicles after the end of every trip. Even many drivers and passengers are not using masks.

Supervisors of a few buses were seen spraying disinfectants on the hands of passengers. But there was no sanitizer in the buses.

The physical distance was maintained by keeping half seats vacant for a few days. But on Thursday, it was seen that the public transport was crowded.

Besides, many public transports are carrying passengers by filling up all seats. As a result, the risk of corona infection is increasing.

Many commuters have expressed their displeasure over the extra fare for carrying passengers without leaving the seats vacant.

It was also seen that the passengers were sitting closely. No physical distance was maintained. Hand sanitizers and disinfectants were not being sprayed.

The bus driver’s assistant is standing at the door and picking up the passengers with his hands by touching the passengers.

Sumon, the supervisor of a Mirpur-Gulistan bus, said passengers often get up forcefully. So, the physical distance is not going to be maintained.

Rubi Sultana, a passenger travelling by a bus of Bihanga Paribahan, said, “We are paying extra fare, but they are carrying passenger almost every seats. Then why should we pay extra fare.”

Kabir Hossain, an assistant of Gazipur Paribahan, said it is really difficult to follow hygiene rules in public transports. The rule is to spray disinfectant after every trip, but no public transport can afford such thing. So, there is a risk.

One of the conditions under which the fare is increased by 60 percent is to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. But most of the transports operating in the capital are not following the instructions.

Moreover, the new chart of increased fare was not seen hanging while many passengers complained that they were charged double. 

On May 28, the government decided not to extend the general holidays after May 30. The government issued a gazette notification on Thursday allowing limited operation of public transport and offices from May 31 to June 15 amid the coronavirus outbreak.