Adherence to social distancing and wearing of masks within public transportation during the COVID 19 pandemic

The first two cases of COVID-19 in Ghana were recorded on March 12th 2020. As a guideline, government issued directives on physical distancing and the use of face masks to curb community spread of the disease. Given that public transport has been identified as a high-risk environment for transmission, it was of interest to ascertain user and operator compliance to guidelines for public transport operations during the period, as a measure of its risk level. A roadside observer survey, of over 850 of the most popular paratransit (trotro) buses was carried out on one of the major roads in Kumasi. Compliance to the policy on physical distancing was determined using guidelines from the Ministry of Transport, while compliance to the policy on face masks was determined by the researchers themselves based on the number of commuters with/without face masks per bus. The results suggest that majority (98.0%) of buses comply with the social distancing guidelines established by the Ministry of transport, however the policy on face masks was complied with only partially in most vehicles. About 12.6% of the vehicles had fewer than three commuters without face masks, while 21.3% of buses that had fewer than 3 people with face masks. The results suggest public transport remains an area of high risk in the fight against COVID-19. It is recommended that operators are given additional directives that restrict them from allowing commuters without face masks on board their vehicles, and as well, that police enforce the policy through fines.


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  • Accession Number: 01751535
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2020 9:50AM