Transporters waiting to load passengers at a park in Benin

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Alarmed by the increasing number of persons that have tested positive for the Coronavirus pandemic, the Edo state government has urged commercial vehicle operators in the state not to pick passengers who do not wear face masks.

A member of the Edo State Covid-19 Risk Communication Team, Mrs. Irene Uabor, made the appeal while addressing members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), during a sensitisation programme with stakeholders in the transportation sector.

She said the move was part of measures to check the spread of the second wave of the disease.

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She added that the state government would be rolling out more measures to curb the spread of the highly-infectious virus.

According to Dr. Uabor, “The need to observe social distancing in vehicles and wearing of face masks by all cannot be over emphasised. If these measures are in place, we can curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Don’t carry any passenger who is not wearing a face mask. If we all practice all the guidelines put in place by the authorities, we will win the war against the deadly disease together.”

She urged the participants at the sensitization programme to pass the message to other members of the union, noting, “Go back to your communities and motor parks and educate other members of your union on the need to practice all the guidelines put in place to check the spread of coronavirus.

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She added: “Covid-19 is real. Right from the first wave and now the second wave, it is real. The symptoms are real. We should stop the rumor that Covid-19 is not real.”

In his response, the state vice chairman of NURTW, Mr John Odiase, assured that the leadership of the union would educate its members on the need to practice all the guidelines that would help to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Odiase expressed appreciation to the state government for organizing the programme, assuring that the union will sustain collaboration with the government in checking the spread of Covid-19.