“Be proactive in execution of your responsibilities” – MoPH to minibus operators

Following concerns over the overcrowding in minibuses, medical personnel from the Public Health Ministry, led by Dr Lauren Bancroft, met with members of the United Minibus Union (UMU), including its President, Eon Andrews, and other executives.

Dr Lauren Bancroft (front row sixth from left); UMU President Eon Andrews (back row sixth from right) take a photo with members of the Minibus Union

During the meeting, public transportation providers were challenged to be proactive in the execution of their responsibilities to themselves and the commuters that they have to interact with during the course of their daily work schedule.
According to Dr Bancroft, this has become more necessary since we are faced with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The doctor further added that it was important for all stakeholders to develop partnerships, so that they could have civil discussions as a collective as to how best they could protect each other against the COVID-19 invasion. This is essential, she added, since by the very nature of the public transport operations, persons have to be compacted in a small space and more so, overloading the buses could further exacerbate the situation with dire consequences.
Dr Bancroft noted that there was a need for consistent and proper hygiene, especially as it relates to hand sanitisation, which was demonstrated during the session.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO); Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Ministry paraphernalia were also distributed to the attendees that comprised operators from Route 31 (Georgetown-Patentia); 32 (Georgetown-Parika); 42 ( Georgetown- Timehri); 44 (UG- Industry); 45 ( Main/Lamaha/Hospital/Albert); 47 (East/ West Ruimveldt) and 48 ( Sophia).
Just recently, several complaints were made by commuters about minibus operators overloading their buses despite COVID-19 warnings.
In light of this situation, UMU President Andrews called on the Traffic Department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to take urgent action against those operators.