BREAKING NEWS: 'Dirty' East London bus service suspended

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Buffalo City Metro has temporary discontinued its bus service after two employees at the municipal bus depot in East London tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.

Buffalo City Metro spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya confirmed to DispatchLIVE that the employees who tested positive for the Coronavirus had not been on duty since last week.

On Wednesday, DispatchLIVE tagged along with DA councillor Sue Bentley who was conducting an oversight visit at the depot in Arcadia and found that the buses who transport members of the public, including pupils and nurses were only being sanitised once a week, a revelation made by one of the municipal bus drivers.

"As part of the precautions and protocols prescribed by the department of health, they were self-isolating after their partners tested positive," said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya said the depot had been "deep cleaned by the city’s environmental health unit" and all 17 staff members had been referred to the municipality’s wellness centre for "screening and advice".

"Based on advice received from the wellness centre, it was recommended that all staff members plus mechanics must go on self-isolation for 10 days."

This therefore means that the bus services will not be operating as all staff will be self-isolating for the next 10 days," he said.Ngwenya said this would not affect ticket holders as the tickets were valid until the end of the financial year.

"The municipality is on record assuring commuters yesterday that our buses are safe as they are cleaned daily and all passengers are sanitised. Health protocols like the wearing of masks and social distancing are also followed."

BCM has recorded 209 confirmed positive cases in its workforce, with 120 recoveries and 8 deaths.

"Thermal scanners for screening of every person that enters the buildings of BCMM is still ongoing."

The training for employees on how to operate the thermometers is also ongoing.  Three primary compliance officers have been appointed and 22 secondary compliance officers are representing various directorates," said Ngwenya.

He said a total of 1576 staff has been screened by 20 July 2020 and that process was still ongoing."450 employees were educated of Covid-19 in different departments. 1592 employees have been tested within the BCMM to date.

"As a measure to curb the transmission of Covid-19, staff has been provided with cleaning materials as well as sanitisers for the members of the public before and after using these public convenience facilities."

Ngwenya added that personal protective equipment to staff had been distributed as follows; 161 624 gloves, 204 894 masks, 11 237 hand sanitisers (25 litres). 6853 face cloth masks, 540 goggles, 286 thermal scanners and 741 hand sanitisers. - DispatchLIVE

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