Yesterday I had to take time off from my office work to use a minibus, taxi and also visited some of the night clubs in Mongu town at night, now that Zambia has confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is urging the Zambian Government to consider sanitizing the transport sector and night clubs in the country.

The Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is aware that minibuses and taxis have for a long time been squeezing five passengers per seat (known as five -five) instead of 3 passengers per seat. These minibuses and taxis are also poorly ventilated with most windows not designed for opening. This means that passengers are in close proximity and contact of one another and breathe in the same corrupt air. If one sick passenger sneezes in the bus, the chances of the entire bus getting the coronavirus are very high.

The Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is also aware that most of these buses and taxis are often cleaned using water drawn from all sorts of sources including ponds and streams around Mongu. Their levels of hygiene are very low as compared to the acceptable standards and requirements of cleanliness to prevent and defeat the coronavirus.

The Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is therefore appealing to the Ministries of Health (MoH), Local Government and Housing, Communications and Transport, working with relevant stakeholders in the public transportation sector such as bus owners, taxi owners, public transport groups and road safety agencies and night clubs to find a way of cleaning up and sanitizing these night clubs, minibuses and taxis so that they are germ and virus free before and after every trip.

We are also appealing for these night clubs, minibuses and taxis to be compelled to allow few customers and carry less passengers in compliance with social distancing among strangers and for them to have hand sanitizers at hand for use by passengers on demand.

We are also calling on health officials to quickly disinfect all night clubs, bus stations and buses and taxis to prevent the coronavirus from landing into our compounds.

It doesn't make sense to close schools, reduce hours in church services, night clubs and bars, whilst drivers and passengers using minibuses and taxis and bar users are not monitored and educated.

If you showing signs of coronavirus (flu, headache, fever and cough), please avoid use of night clubs, minibuses, taxis and call for an ambulance to transport you to the nearest health corona centre.

Let us be road smart and defeat the coronavirus on our roads and transportation system. Every day without any road death is possible and every Zambian life matters.