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Coronavirus: COPEC calls for automated pumps, other gadgets to protect transport sector

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) is advocating for better protection of drivers and fuel stations nationwide from the novel coronavirus threat.

Among other things, COPEC urged “as many fuel stations to make all the necessary arrangements to install self-serving or automated pumps across some service stations.”

The group is also advocating for the use of “electronic payment systems and platforms in the payment for the services and products at these service stations as well as the payment of fares for public transport where possible.”

Though it broached the idea of the withdrawal of transport services by some providers, COPEC noted that “the repercussions could be dire if extended to all other public transport operators.”

In line with this, COPEC said it has held discussions with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCS) “to immediately procure and distribute the necessary basic preventive clothing and equipments for the frontline officers including the drivers, the driver mates, pump attendants and other service providers at the lorry terminals and fuel stations to ensure a safer working environment for these frontline men and women in the discharge of their duties within this period.”

For now, the Ministry of Transport has been directed to work with the transport unions and private and public transport operators to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals, by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands.

Coronavirus spread in Ghana

Ghana has so far detected six cases of the novel coronavirus in Ghana, all of which were imported.

Four new cases were announced on Sunday, with three of the cases recorded in Accra while one other was recorded in the Obuasi in the Ashanti Region.

So far, 151 people have been identified as persons who came in contact with four out of six individuals who have been confirmed with the novel coronavirus.

Following the announcement of the new cases, the government announced new public gathering advisories.

Educational institutions across all sectors have been asked to close down effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for the next four weeks.

Concerts, workshops, sporting events and all religious events have also been banned.

Find below the full statement

THE NEED TO PROTECT DRIVERS AND PUMP ATTENDANTS IN THE FACE OF THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS WITHIN THE COUNTRY

News of an increase in the number of cases of the contagious Coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) is currently changing a lot of interactions within the country as authorities put in stringent policies to curtail its spread and impact.

A ban on a number of activities including public and social gatherings, closing down of schools and colleges across the country, curtailing of all religious and cultural gatherings for the next 4 weeks amongst others.

News of withdrawing of services by a section of transport operators with the view to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 sounds a legitimate preventive measure although the repercussions could be dire if extended to all other public transport operators.

In this regard, the chamber has concluded discussions with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union ( GPRTU ) and Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCS) to immediately procure and distribute the necessary basic preventive clothing and equipments for the frontline officers including the drivers, the driver mates, pump attendants and other service providers at the lorry terminals and fuel stations to ensure a safer working environment for these frontline men and women in the discharge of their duties within this period.

The Chamber further encourages as many fuel stations to make all the necessary arrangements to install self-serving or automated pumps across some service stations to reduce the possibility of physical contact between the customer and attendants at the various stations within this period.

We further encourage the use of electronic payment systems and platforms in the payment for the services and products at these service stations as well as the payment of fares for public transport where possible.

We encourage the public to strictly abide by and observe all the health protocols as spelt out by the Ghana Health Service under the current circumstances to prevent an escalation in the number of infections as Authorities continue to work strenuously to contain and eradicate the upsurge and incidence of this virus outbreak.

Signed

Duncan Amoah
Executive Secretary.

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