ZUPCO overcrowding … a potential hotspot for COVID-19

PUBLIC transport has been identified as one of the potential hotspots for the deadly novel coronavirus.

This comes against the backdrop that the same mode transport is the popular primary means for most frontline workers during COVID-19 induced national lockdown.

Part of the lockdown regulations bar public transport operators, with the exemption of ZUPCO.
However, a snap survey carried out by this publication in Harare on the first day of the lockdown extension period, shows that passengers are being exposed to potential risk.

Massive overcrowding was noted at the bus terminus.

In an interview with Zim Morning Post on Monday, some front-line nurses and security personell said the public transport was exposing them to the virus.

“ZUPCO is not effective during this pandemic, otherwise it is making us vulnerable. Look we are crowded here, no social distancing, we are not protected,” said one Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals nurse.

Another police officer who refused to be identified, urged government to at least deploy more ZUPCO buses.

“This is not working. It is just that we want to go home but we are vulnerable. Government must roll out more buses if it is serous about containing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Government’s preventative measures, primarily meant to encourage physical and social distancing are therefore not working as the front-line workers are being exposed.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Sunday, extended the national lockdown by another two weeks to May 3, pending further assessment on the ground.

Meanwhile, the country has recorded 25 Covid-19 cases including 3 deaths and two recoveries.