The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has indicated that any move by the government to reintroduce the COVID-19 restrictions on the number of passengers public transport operators can carry will seriously affect their revenues.
The National Chairman of the GPRTU, Nana Nimako Bresiamah told Citi News that such restriction cannot be undertaken without a ban on religious and social gatherings.
According to him, the GPRTU will support all efforts to fight COVID-19 in the country but proposals to get commercial vehicles to reduce the number of passengers they accommodate to ensure social distancing in the vehicles will require that the government bears the cost of the monies lost.
“If they are saying that the government should put restrictions on the number of passengers, even public gatherings like funerals churches and everything must be affected. The last time we were asked to do that, it became an issue of who will bear the cost of carrying half the number of regular passengers. If the government is ready to help us in this manner, we will agree but to let us say a bus taking 10 passengers to take 5 [without compensation], it will be very difficult.”
Nana Nimako Bresiamah’s comment is in reaction to a call by the Convention People’s Party for the government to reconsider a reintroduction of the COVID-19 restrictions earlier imposed on public transport operators as a means of stopping the new surge.
But the GPRTU’s Nana Nimako Bresiamah holds the view that it will be more helpful to push for strict adherence to the COVID-19 hygiene protocols including regular handwashing as well as the wearing of face masks.
“We are in to help, but nobody will work to run at a loss. We disagree with the CPP, they should appeal to the public, to abide by the rules and regulations, the wearing of face masks, washing hands and sanitizing the hands.”