By JOHN SAKALA
In the early hours of today, Solwezi Municipal Council inspected the Main Bus Station, Mitec Market Lay-by and Kapijimpanga Police Checkpoint to ensure compliance among bus operators, callboys, motorists and passengers regarding mandatory wearing of masks and provision of hand washing facilities.
This exercise serves to reinforce the presidential directive of wearing masks and adherence to guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health in an effort to prevent further spread of the COVID-19.
During the inspections, it was discovered that some buses had inadequate hand washing facilities and as a result, the first Powertools bus enroute to Lusaka was delayed departure.
However, the Local Authority disinfected the inside and outside of more than ten (10) long route buses that included; Juldan Motorways, Likili, Scorpion, Chibeka, Powertools and Shalom.
His Worship the Mayor Mr Nicholas Mukumbi noted with concern that Solwezi district is still receiving buses to and from Lusaka, the epicentre of the COVID-19. Hence, the Local Authority has intensified inspections for compliance to prevent spread of the disease into Solwezi district.
While at the Main bus station, Mr Mukumbi seized the opportunity to distribute face masks to the bus operators, callboys and passengers reminding them on the importance of wearing masks at all times, considering an increase in COVID-19 cases being recorded in the country.
His Worship further implored the bus operators to uphold precautionary measures against the COVID-19 at any point passengers are picked enroute to various destinations.
The bus operators were also beseeched to take note of contact details of all passengers that board buses for easy tracing in case of any Coronavirus case.
Director of Public Health Mr Stanely Zingalume Mbewe was however impressed with the seriousness bus operators and callboys have attached to the effects of the COVID-19 as most of them were found wearing masks.
While at the checkpoint, it was observed that truck drivers and other motorists were in possession of masks but not wearing them at which point they were cautioned to put them on at all times.
Solwezi Municipal Council conducted the inspections with support from the District Commissioner’s Office, Kimasala ward Councillor and Ministry of Health.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by Solwezi Council Assistant Public Relations Manager Esther Chirwa