The movement of people within Yaounde, and from one town to another has reduced, since the measures enforced by the minister of transport to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On March 23, 2020, Jean Ernest Ngale Bibehe signed a series of announcements, asking inter-intra urban transporters to reduce the number of passengers in the vehicles.
For taxis circulating in town, not more than four people are allowed. While for buses with 70 seats, a maximum number of 50 persons should be on board. The reduction is similar for other passenger vehicles, to create enough space and reduce contamination.
The Transport Minister also ask transporters to respect hygienic rules.
Transporters Slowly Adapt To The Measures.
Transport agencies plying the Yaounde- Bafoussam-Bamenda road are gradually adapting to the new measures.
Bobo Musa Juli , the manager of a travel agency plying the Yaounde-Bamenda highway said since the order was signed, they have tried to reduce the number of passengers in each bus.
The agency that does mostly night travels according to the high demand by its clients, is having a hard time because of reduce intake of passengers as ordered by the government.
“Last night we had to refuse many passengers due to limited space” Bobo Musa explained.
He also admitted, they often explain the dangers of the coronavirus to their passengers.
He says some are resistant to the idea of washing or disinfecting their hands, claiming the disease is a hoax.
Many other travel agencies initially did not buy the idea of reducing the number of seats. But some control teams have reminded them of sanctions that await them , and they are gradually complying.
The News Measures Are Slowing Down Business
Though managers of the travel agencies admit that curbing the spread of COVID-19 is primordial, they are currently incurring losses because they cannot cover the cost of fueling the cars and other expenses.
They wish the government could give them accompanying measures to cushion the effects.
So far, sanitary officials have offered them buckets and detergents for permit passengers to wash their hands before boarding the buses.
The Order to Stay Home Has Reduced Movement
Since people were asked to stay home in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many people have postponed traveling.
At some of the travel agencies, they complain that take off time is no longer respected because it is hard to have 50 people to occupy the 70 seater buses.
Pa Blaise, a worker at a travel company said, since the announcement of the death of the great saxophonist, Manu Dibango due to Coronavirus, the number of travelers have dropped tremendously.
A few passengers now travel with masks and hand sanitizers, to protect themselves.
Yellow Cabs Faced With The Dilemma
Yello taxis that have been used to loading over six passengers are now forced to overcome this temptation.
Many still have three people at the back seat and one in front making a total of five instead of the recommended four.
A cab driver said, since the transport fare has not been increased or fuel prices dropped, business is really difficult for them.
“We are not the owners of the taxis. We have a daily cash deposit to the owners, now it is very difficult to catch up because with the new measures our daily income has dropped”.
As the sensitization goes on, more people are expected to adopt the recommended measures in order to stop the spread of the virus, favored by movements.