Commercial drivers in Sunyani, the Bono Regional capital are adhering to the mandatory wearing of nose masks, as directed by the Ministry of Health, though the region has not recorded any confirmed case of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
Virtually, all taxi drivers sighted by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in the regional capital on Monday had put on the nose masks, but interestingly, most passengers were not wearing the protective equipment.
When the GNA visited some bus terminals in the Sunyani Municipality, drivers and passengers were all sighted wearing the nose masks.
The terminals visited were the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), VIP and OA transport terminals.
Veronica buckets, soaps and sanitizers were also sighted at the lorry stations to enable drivers and passengers to wash their hands under running water.
Mr. Richard Amankwaah, the Bono regional Secretary of the GPRTU said it was mandatory for all drivers of the Union to wear the masks before embarking on their journeys.
He said the Union had procured and freely supplied its drivers with the masks, and sold to passengers who did not have for GhC1.00.
“But as for passengers who travel to Accra, we provide the masks for them free”, Mr. Amankwaah stated.
He added the Union had procured thermometer guns to check temperatures of travelers before they were allowed to board their vehicles, saying passengers who failed to wear nose masks were not allowed to board all GPRTU vehicles.
The situation was not different at the PROTOA bus terminal at the Nana Bosoma Central Market.
Mr. Peter Akom, the Sunyani Municipal Chairman of PROTOA said the Association stepped up measures to ensure both drivers and passengers complied with orders from health officials.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive commended the transport unions in the Municipality for their support in the fight adding that concerted efforts were required to stem the spread of the COVID-19 in the Municipality, and advised market women and traders to adhere to the social distancing protocols, regular hand washing with soap under running water and use of alcohol-based sanitizers.
Madam Owusu-Banahene acknowledged the tremendous contributions of the local media in educating the masses on the COVID-19, and cautioned them to avoid reports that had the potential to stigmatize carriers of the virus.
“The commitment of the various security services and health officials in fighting the disease in the Municipality is overwhelming”, she added.
Meanwhile, hand washing and use of sanitizers had declined among populace in the regional capital, a GNA investigation revealed.
There are instances the GNA sighted empty several Veronica buckets.
Sellers of hand sanitizers at the central business district also complained about poor sales.
“Sales have gone down drastically. I have not even sold 10 bottles of sanitizers since last week. People don’t even border to ask for the price. It was not so in the beginning”, Bernice Ofei, a shop attendant stated.
So far, the country has recorded 1,550 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with 11 deaths and 155 recoveries.