New Directives on Matatus Over Coronavirus

  • NTSA officials pictured inspecting a matatu on the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway in December 2019
    NTSA officials pictured inspecting a matatu on the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway in December 2019
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  • The government has issued new directives to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic through the public means of transport.

    In a presser on Friday, March 20, at Afya House, Nairobi, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, gave guidelines that aim at reducing congestion in public service vehicles.

    "14-seater matatus will carry a maximum of eight passengers; 25-seater vehicles a maximum of 15 passengers, 30 seater vehicles and above to maintain a sixty per cent maximum of sitting capacity," Kagwe stated.

    He further informed that the new guidelines issued would similarly extend to the Standard Guage Railway (SGR) and commuter trains plying through the country every single day.

    A photo of SGR Nairobi terminus
    A photo of SGR Nairobi terminus
    Daily Nation

    Kagwe further told Kenyans that the reason for the decision on Matatus was to create personal space between passengers and called for co-operation.

    "When this happens, it is expected that people will adhere to the directions of the PSV operators. In other words, there is no point in having eight people and then two people are sitting close together and leaving the other seats open," he warned.

    The CS further added that all the public service operators were expected to clean and disinfect their vehicles at the end of each trip.

    They were further asked to provide hand sanitizers to the passenger in the lieu of the decision by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to release seized ethanol to aid in the manufacture of sanitizers.

    These sanitizers, he reiterated, are meant to be released to the public for free once production kicks off, to help minimize the spread of the pandemic.

    The CS further urged Kenyans to stay at home and minimize travel as much as possible, not unless they really have to make the trips.

    "To reduce the risk of transmission in our public transport systems, we encourage as much as possible that persons stay at home unless on essential business. PSV operators have already been asked to observe high levels of hygiene," he stated.

    A photo of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
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