Professor Ibikunle Baruwa, President of Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has urged the Federal and State Governments to assist motor parks in curbing the spread of coronavirus.
He made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Baruwa said: ”We wish to appeal to the Federal and State Governments to come up with strategies to mitigate the spread and impact of the dreaded Corona Virus in motor parks as well as other highly populated locations in the nation.
“To enable transporters to continue operations even during a potential outbreak, the government must help us implement policies and strategies to ensure the safety of members, employees and customers against Coronavirus infection.
“Measures to be taken should include advocacy and immediate testing of motor park users to sensitise travelers on safety steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“These measures will go a long way towards preventing infected travelers from spreading the disease to residents of the destination states and vice versa.’’
Baruwa urged passengers and drivers to cooperate with the union’s local branches, instructed to provide running water and soap and ensure everyone to wash and sanitise their hands before embarking on any journey.
He said drivers are expected to provide alcohol-based sanitisers in their vehicles for use by commuters and avoid overcrowding and overloading of vehicles.
He added that the union would also set up coronavirus task force committees to monitor any suspicious case and report immediately to relevant health authorities.
While restating the effect of the virus on transport systems across the nation, Baruwa noted that measures to curtail its spread in the country could not be overemphasised.
According to the president, there have not been any reported cases of the outbreak in any motor park across the country and most road transport service have been operating on their normal schedule.
Baruwa said that in recognition of steps by the government to curtail the spread of the virus and concern of the union for welfare and safety of its workers, all staff on grade level 12 and below should stay home from March 25.
He added that staff on grade level 13 and above would continue to provide skeletal services for the union during the period.