The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says commercial drivers under its umbrella will not reduce the number of passengers in their vehicle despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The Union said driving commercial vehicles, locally known as trotro, is a business and its members cannot afford to run at a loss.
This was disclosed by the National Chairman of the GPRTU, Kwame Kumah, during an interview. “We can’t reduce the number of passengers on commercial vehicles simply because of the outbreak of coronavirus,” he is quoted as saying.
This comes after Health experts cautioned the public to keep a distance of at least two meters from a person with fever, cough, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.
A section of Ghanaians, therefore, called on commercial drivers to reduce the number of passengers they usually take as a safety measure against the fast-spreading coronavirus.
However, Mr. Kumah said trotro drivers are ready to do that, only if passengers are also ready to pay for the empty seats.
“The loading system in our commercial vehicle is a different thing altogether. If a passenger goes to a station and boards a 40 passenger vehicle and says he wants only 5 people on board because he fears he’ll contract coronavirus if the bus is full and he can afford to pay for the empty 35 seats then that’s fine.
“The driver will set off. If passengers insist they want few people in a 40 passenger vehicle, then the driver will have no option than to share the cost of the remaining seats for them to pay. We are doing business, we just can’t run at a loss,” he added.
Meanwhile, the number of Coronavirus cases recorded in Ghana has risen to seven within the last one week.
Last Thursday, the Ghana government officially confirmed that the country has recorded its first two cases of the coronavirus.
Five more persons have since tested positive, with over 150 contacts traced by the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, the government has put in place some travel restrictions into the country, with President Akufo-Addo also announcing a ban on all social gatherings and sporting activities.