By Mutamba Derrick
Reports coming in indicate that Kenya’s public transport (Matatu) is set to resume operations in full capacity starting Monday, August 9 2021, as the government looks to rescue the country’s public transport sector from financial losses.
For more than a year, public transport vehicles have been carrying fewer passengers in line with health measures introduced to counter the spread of COVID-19.
“We will allow full capacity from Monday next week and any Sacco which will be found violating the protocol will have its license revoked,” Chris Obure, the Transport Chief Administrative Secretary said on Friday. The decision comes when East African countries are experiencing a spike in daily COVID-19 infections and fatalities.
Besides carrying fewer passengers, the public transport vehicles were also operating for lesser hours as a night-time curfew imposed in March 2020 remained in place.
Obure cautioned the operators to ensure all health measures are adhered to by all passengers and containment measures should be in place including the mandatory wearing of face masks and hand hygiene.
The Transport Chief Administrative Secretary also urged the public transport operators to encourage cashless payments to avoid unnecessary contact on the journey.
Kenya’s COVID-19 infections increased by 1,561 on Friday to 209,823, with a cumulative death toll of 4,088.