Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has justified government’s decision to allow public transport operators to run at full capacity in spite of the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and social distancing protocols put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Previously, transport operators had to limit their passenger intake to ensure social distancing, however, per a new directive by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, there will be no more social distancing in public transport regardless of the distance of the journey.
According to the Minister, trotros and taxis operating at full capacity pose a lesser risk for people contracting the virus than in religious gatherings.
Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah admitted that it was a “thorny issue” but explained the new directives were informed by expert advice.
He disclosed, “The advice that has come from the health persons is that, the kind of risk levels because of the shouting and the very exuberant activities (in churches) is higher than it is in the transport systems if indeed everybody is just wearing a mask and staying put and is observing all of the other protocols. There’s a difference between the two.”
Meanwhile, the limit of the number of people allowed to be in church or mosque has been lifted by government.
Duration has also been increased to two hours and the churches and mosques are told to ensure social distancing among members of at least one metre.
Despite the changes in directive on easing of restrictions in public transport, the wearing of face masks in vehicles and aircraft, and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols, remains mandatory for transport operators.