NAIROBI, Apr 5 – The government has warned Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) that it will revoke licenses of Saccos that flout directives aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia noted that directives issued on COVID-19 were not being adhered to, with most matatus overloading and not observing hygienic measures.
“Any matatu operator found not observing the set directives will have their Sacco licenses suspended and their vehicles impounded. This directive applies to all Public Service Vehicles,” he said, “The offenders will also be charged in a court of law in line with the Public Health Act for deliberately spreading the virus.”
Bodaboda riders were also warned against overloading. They are required to only carry one passenger.
A spot check by Capital News shows that riders, particularly in informal settlements in Nairobi and remote parts of the countries were operating oblivious of the danger posed by coronavirus that has killed four people in Kenya and infected 142 people by Sunday. Four people have so far recovered.
Globally, more than 60,000 people have died, with infections now over surpassing one million.
The new measures for PSVs were adopted on the second week of fighting the virus, with matatus recquired to operate at 60 percent occupancy. 14-seater vehicles are allowed to carry a maximum of 8 passengers while those with a capacity of 25 would only carry 15 passengers.
PSVs are further also required to clean their vehicles after every trip and provide sanitizers for passengers.
The transport industry has been identified as a critical sector in curbing the spread of coronavirus with over ninety percent of Kenyans using public transport means.
When he announced the directives two weeks ago, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that social distancing was key in spreading the spread of Covid-19.
“It is expected that the people will adhere to the directives of matatu operators. The idea is to stay as far away as possible from each other,” he said.