Passengers at Bujumbura bus parking have to wash hands before getting into buses

On the occasion of the Public Transport Day celebrated on 25 March, Burundian transport operators ask people to wash hands before getting into bus as the day coincides with the wide spread of COVID-19.

Passengers washing hands in front the bus in Bujumbura

The Association of Transport Operators in Burundi set up hand washing mechanisms in various bus parkings of Bujumbura. Bus drivers and conductors require passengers to wash their hands before getting into buses to prevent the risk of COVID-19 outbreak.

A driver of MEMENTO transport agency says that some passengers understood the importance of washing their hands while others refused arguing that they had washed their hands before leaving their home. “They ignore they can get this virus on the way,” he said, adding that people cannot implement properly the measures taken by their fellow citizens. “We are doing our best to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease,” he says.

He adds that passengers have decreased significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19. “Congolese, Tanzanians and Rwandans who used to come to Burundi were transported by our buses. Since the borders with neighboring countries have been closed, our customers have decreased significantly,” he says.

Déo Nduwayo, responsible for COTEBU bus parking says he wishes that people change their mindsets. “We call on the government, religious leaders and journalists to sensitize people to the importance of washing hands,” says Nduwayo.

No case of COVID-19 infection has so far been recorded in Burundi according to the Ministry of Health. Burundi, however, has taken some measures to combat the outbreak of this pandemic which is reported in countries bordering with Burundi by closing its borders and quarantining Burundians who return from these countries. It also suspended the granting of visas.