Imo Covid-19 Task Force To Arrest Motorists For Violating Directives

Imo Covid-19 Task Force To Arrest Motorists For Violating Directives

  • Taxi cabs to carry 4 passengers only (driver and 3 persons)
  • Tricycles; 3 persons only (driver and 2 persons)
  • While Bus Imo are to carry 5 passengers only (driver and 4 persons).

Imo COVID-19 Task Force says it will start arresting motorists violating government’s directives on mask wearing and the stipulated number of passengers.

Prof. Maurice Iwu, the Chairman of the taskforce, said this at a sensitisation meeting with branch chairmen of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers in Imo.

Iwu was represented at the meeting by Dr Success Prosper, a member of the task force.

He said that the state government’s Executive Order 001 on Ease of Movement in the state stipulated the number of passengers to be carried by transporters.

He, however, expressed regret that some transporters had failed to adhere to the directives.

NAN reports that by the order, taxi cabs are to carry only four passengers (driver and 3 persons), tricycles three persons (driver and 2 persons), while Bus Imo are to carry five passengers (driver and 4 persons).

The 16-seater buses are to carry only nine passengers.

The directive also stipulated that the passengers are to be administered with hand sanitizers before entering the vehicle, while all passengers must wear face mask.

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It directed that all travels or movements must be between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. as there is overnight curfew nationwide from 8:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m.

The directive said government agencies would be on the road to enforce these measures and anyone who flouted the regulations would be prosecuted immediately by the Mobile Court.

Iwu urged the chairmen of NURTW to dessiminate the information to their members to avoid anyone being used as scape goat, saying that ignorance of the law would not be an excuse.

The taskforce enjoined the transporters and residents to report anyone returning from outside the state to traditional rulers in their communities or call the local government or state surveillance team on Covid-19 for necessary checks and follow up actions.

Iwu said that the taskforce was implementing these measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

in the state and to ensure that the people were safe and live safely.

Dr Sabastein Okwu, the WHO representative in the state and member of the taskforce, described COVID-19 as a communicable disease being transmited through the nose, mouth or eyes and whose major symptoms are high fever, cough and difficulty in breathing that can lead to death.

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He said that prevention was the best medicine for COVID-19.

Dr Kyrian Duruewuru, the Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Imo and also a member of the task force, said that COVID-19 virus could be transmitted by touching infected money and by closeness to an infected person.

He advised transporters to ensure they followed government’s directives so as not to get infected from passengers.

Mr Victus Ekeocha, the Imo State Director of National Orientation Agency, appealed to the transporters to abide by government’s instructions on the number of passengers and should not use the opportunity to hike fares.

He also advised them to stop passengers from spitting saliva or spitul from their cars and and to carry the messages to their members as the taskforce would soon start arresting defaulters.

The state Chairman of NURTW, Mr Isuchuwu Okebaram, pledged the support of the transporters to the team, adding that his members had fully been notified of government’s directives on COVID-19 as it affected transportation.

He said that there was the need for the members to abide by these directives since anyone could be a victim.

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Some of the transporters thanked the task force for the sensitisation and for their efforts in containing the spread of the disease.

They requested that their members be provided with face masks, sanitisers and pallatives by government and that their chairman to be made a member of the taskforce to be relaying their messages well to them.

Mr Chigozie Obinna, one of the transporters, commended the meeting, describing the transport sector as the most threatened of all the sectors.

He called for more sensitisation meetings the drivers and urged the government to provide them with face masks and other prevention materials.

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