RAWALPINDI: As Punjab moves towards normalcy amidst a lockdown - imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the government has decided to resume inter and intra-city public transport in the province. However, any service will have to strictly implement standard operating procedures.
The Express Tribune has learnt that the provincial transport authorities have prepared a comprehensive set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in consultation with transporters and their representative bodies to get bus services back on the road.
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These SOPs will be sent to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar this week for final approval after which the service can resume across the province.
The draft SOPs, shared with The Express Tribune, will make it mandatory for passengers to wear face masks and gloves to qualify for embarking on the vehicle. Moreover, the drivers and conductors of the vehicles will also be required to wear masks and gloves.
Furthermore, to ensure that passengers are disinfected before boarding the vehicle, sanitising walkthrough gates will be installed at all bus stands across the province. To ensure safety, passengers will have to clean their hands with hand sanitizer before they can board the vehicle.
Apart from masks and gloves, all commuters will be required to carry a handkerchief or tissue paper with them which has to be disposed of immediately after use.
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Those suffering from flu, fever, or coughing will not be allowed to get on the vehicle.
Furthermore, the draft SOPs call for a ban on using air-conditioners during the entire journey and windows of the vehicles will have to be kept open for ventilation. Before embarking on a new trip, the vehicles will have to be washed from the inside and outside with chlorinated water.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2020.
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