… Cross-border travel, international flights to be banned from Wednesday
Government has advised people in the country to wash hands before entering minibuses.
Minister of Transport Ralph Jooma said this in a statement outlining measures for the transport sector in order to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
He said passengers must wash hands before entering a bus or minibus, all public service vehicles should reduce their seating capacity to 60% and no standing passengers should be allowed on any public service vehicle.
“All public service vehicles are required to disinfect before commencement of every trip. All crew are required to put on protective face masks.
“All public service vehicles should provide hand sanitizer to all passengers on board. Passengers are not allowed to carry animals on any public service vehicles,” said Jooma.
He added that traffic law enforcement officers, local council representatives, representatives of Passenger Welfare Association and members of public transport associations will be carrying out joint exercises to inspect compliance to the above.
On other measures concerning road transport, Jooma said all cross-border passenger travel is suspended effective 1st April, 2020 10.
He further said that traffic law enforcement officers have been advised against touching driver or vehicle documents and any other document required by law except where it is very necessary.
On rail transport, Jooma said the Central East Africa Railways (CEAR) will reduce the carrying capacity of each passenger coach from 90 to 40 for Economy Class and from 54 to 28 for Business Class.
CEAR will also disinfect all passenger coaches before commencement of every trip and other sanitation measures such as washing hands will also be implemented.
“Government inspectors have been deployed to enforce the implementation of these measures. CEAR has deployed social monitors at every train station to ensure compliance with sanitation and social distance guidelines,” said Jooma
Meanwhile, all international flights are suspended effective 1st April, 2020 except for aircraft carrying health personnel, essential health equipment and emergency relief items as well as those carrying returning residents or general cargo which will be handled on a case by case basis
Malawi is yet to register a case of the coronavirus but neighbors Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique have cases.