Commercial vehicles in Ho plying Accra, Tema and Kumasi have been grounded in the wake of the two week lockdown of the Greater Accra, and the Ashanti Regions as part of efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
Loading centres of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), and the Metro Mass Transit at the Ho Central lorry station to those destinations had temporarily ceased operations.
The State Transport Corporation (STC) terminal at the Ho Civic centre had also grounded its buses, when the GNA checked.
Mr Redeemer Kwawukume, Secretary of the Ho Co-orporative Transport Union said its leadership decided to ground all vehicles serving coronavirus hit cities following the lockdown, which begun on Monday.
“The vehicles are not coming. Our drivers from Hohoe were intercepted at the Akuse junction by security teams. There are no passengers so the vehicles will not be placed on scale,” he said.
The Secretary said the Union would meet on implementing passenger spacing directives, and review pricing, and appealed to Government to support their operations by subsidizing fuel.
Godsway Dzigbede, a GPRTU driver who runs Ho to Accra told GNA most drivers were ill-prepared for the lockdown, adding that the two-day notice was not enough
“I am not having money. I have my wife and kids at home. I stay in Accra but I have to lock myself down here. This will affect us seriously,” he said.
The MMT office at its terminal at the station was closed, with no bus in sight.
Mr Richard Ahiafor, Ho STC Station Manager said management decided to put operations on hold as movements in Accra were halted, and that the last run by a bus from Ho was on Sunday afternoon. “We thought it wise to hold on for the safety of our clients,” he said
The owner of Yesudem, a grocery store at the STC station told GNA her business was affected since the virus broke out in the country, and “now that Accra passengers are gone, my business is also gone.”
Hawkers at the central lorry station are also affected as Accra, and Tema passengers formed the bulk of their customers.
Some traders told GNA that they would manage through the temporary lockdown, saying that a slow sales day was better than dying from the coronavirus.
“Let’s see what the time will bring”, Lydia, a hawker said. Booking officials, loading boys, and drivers’ mates all seem to be feeling the pinch of the lockdown as they moved about aimlessly.
The GNA was told some passengers were at the station at 0600 hours to travel to Accra, but were turned away.