TRANSPORT Minister Rohan Sinanan said that with covid19 sanitising and other measures were being implemented in the public transport system and the private maxi-taxi service was being advised to adopt similar measures.
He was responding to a question in the House Friday from Tabaquite MP Surujrattan Rambachan about what new precautionary policies were being implemented to ensure that all public transport vehicles and vessels are sanitised daily to combat the risk of the spread of covid19. Sinanan said the Works Ministry and Health Ministry have been in constant communication to minimise the spread of covid19 for some time. He reported the Port Authority of TT, Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) and the National Infrastructure Development Company have embarked on the following measures: members of the travelling public who display flu-like symptoms will be discouraged form using any public transportation and advised to self-quarantine; all public transportation vehicles will desist from using air conditioning and windows will be opened because the fresh air circulation significantly reduces the opportunity of virus spread; in all agencies hand sanitisers will be provided for all staff; hand sanitisers will be installed on all terminals; it will be ensured that soap is available in all washrooms; gloves and masks will be provided for all drivers and customer service representatives; passengers will sit two rows behind drivers the limit the spread of the virus all PTSC buses will be properly sanitised before and after every trip; and sanitisation of terminal areas and vessels.
He further reported that the Port Authority will be sanitising vessels before and after each sailing, there will be the engagement of a steam cleaning contractor and procurement of relevant personal protective equipment inclusive of gloves and mask. Rambachan asked if Sinanan was certain the sanitisation was being done and Sinanan replied that he did not ask the authorities if the measures had actually started.
“So I don’t want to pre-empt the answer. But these are the things the agencies have put in place and I am sure if they gave this information to the minister it means that it would have started.” Rambachan asked if the ministry had been in contact with the Maxi Taxi Association about sanitising their vehicles. He reported that he just left a meeting at the ministry where all heads were ensuring all agencies and different modes of transport are called in to ensure, as far as possible, the spread of the virus could be minimised.
“At the end of the day, the Ministry of Works cannot dictate to the Maxi Taxi Association however we are making recommendations.” He noted there is a transport committee that includes maxi taxi drivers and other relevant stakeholders.