Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb

Addis Abeba, April 16/2020 – The Federal Ministry of Transport said cross-country public transports services across the country resume to function as of today. This comes after almost all regional states have banned public transport services to and from their respective regions as measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. Oromia, Amhara, SNNP, Tigray, Afar regional states as well as Dire Dawa City Administration were among the major regional states that have closed their borders banning cross-country public transport vehicles.

The ministry said the services in all the six federal bus stations under its authority in the capital Addis Abeba will now resume. The ministry introduced six different measures as conditions which it said will help prevent the spread of the virus. The ministry also said the measures should be strictly adhered by the service providing companies, including cross-country and medium distance bus companies, their front line workers and customers at large.

The measures include: bus companies union workers who are in the font line, such as drivers, their assistants & cashiers should wear gloves and face masks at all times; transport unions & law enforcement members in bus stations should provide gloves & face masks; bus service providers should work with each bus stations managers to spray buses with disinfectants before dispatch; during transport all service providers should coordinate and cooperate with relevant authorities to disseminate public awareness raising materials and messages about the COVID-19; in addition to providing sanitary materials and personal protection equipment such as gloves and face masks, transport services providers should take appropriate measures to test for temperature; as well as strict adherence to all regulations stipulated in Ethiopia’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The ministry also urged the public to carefully follow measures during queues that will help stop the spread of the virus, such as proper physical distancing, use of face masks, use of sanitary equipment to be provided in the bus stations such as hand wash, had sanitizers, as well as ensuring the availability of enough air circulations inside buses by opening the windows.

As of the writing of this news, a total of 85 people were officially confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 since Ethiopia first reported the presence of the virus on March 13. Since then three people have died, while 15 have recovered. AS

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