By Demion McTair Updated 1:18 p.m., Tuesday, 21 April 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – The continued sanitization of omnibuses is one of the points the Vincentian Transportation Association -VINTAS discussed with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in a April 17 meeting.
In a press release issued on April 20, the organization which represents omnibus operators in SVG said “sanitization process will continue” at “both bus terminals until further notice”.
The point is one of five which VINTAS said it discussed with the government.
The other four (4) points were that “the Government will review the request from VINTAS to implement a Covid-19 public transportation policy on the wearing of masks during the use of public transportation, “the EC $750,000 approved in the supplementary budget for the omnibus sector will be distributed based on the number of registrants, the registration of omnibus will continue up until Wednesday, April 22 at the Arnos [Vale] Airport parking lot and Victoria Park road” and, “The government will review in two (2) weeks’ time, the request for the increase in capacity for the various sizes of omnibus”.
VINTAS, after evaluating these points in an April 20 meeting, “agreed that under the circumstances, services to the general public should resume”.
Service of VINTAS-member omnibuses resumed yesterday, Monday April 20 after a break taken in relation to Covid-19 measures.
On March 25, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in a national address admonished mini bus operators to be sensitive on the matter of overcrowding on buses and to cease doing so forthwith.
The Prime Minister had said that mini buses must be sanitized and cleaned on an ongoing basis to militate against the possibility of spreading the Covid-19 virus.
On April 13, Minister of Transport and Works, Senator Julian Francis said Sunday “I am appealing to all minibus owners, drivers and conductors to get registered to access the sanitization programme and the stimulus payment for the next two months as announced by the Minister of finance”.
“Registration stations are at the E T JOSHUA airport parking lot for windward buses and on the road around VICTORIA PARK for Leeward and Kingstown buses” – the statement added.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at press time, had 10 recorded 12 Covid-19 cases, all imported. Two have since fully recovered and given medical clearance leaving only 10 active Covid-19 positive cases.