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Matatu operators are required to sanitise passengers' hands before boarding. /MOSES MUOKI.

Capital Health

PSVs yet to comply with social distancing directive to limit passengers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21- Public Service Vehicle operators were yet to comply with the social distancing directive of carrying a limited number of passengers to help minimise the spread of coronavirus.

A spot check by Capital FM on Saturday witnessed PSVs in Nairobi ferrying excess passengers despite a directive by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe who wants them to ferry between 60 to 70 per cent.

Matatu were, however, accepting cashless modes of payment as directed by the Ministry of Health following concerns on the safety of handling cash that can easily spread the virus from one person to the other.

Kenya has seven confirmed coronavirus cases, all imported, with dozens more quarantined.

“If there is a moment in our country’s history where we need to embrace the Harambee spirit, it is today, it is now. Our actions this week, in particular, will determine whether we shall go into a full-blown crisis, with grave human and economic consequences or whether we shall limit the adverse impact of this disease, save lives and reduce the impact into our economy,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.

Kagwe said 14-seater vehicles will carry a maximum of 8 passengers while those with a capacity of 25 will only carry 15 passengers.

The rest including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has a 60 percent occupancy.

The move, the CS said, is meant to ensure the government’s directive of 1.5 meters distance is adhered to.

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He also directed all PSVs to maintain high levels of cleanliness.

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