From the onset of a reported case of the covid19 in this country, passengers will have to travel in maxi taxis without airconditioning.
This is one precaution maxi taxi drivers will be taking, said Linus Phillip, president of the Route Two Maxi Association.
In an interview on Wednesday, Phillip said he consistently communicates with the drivers via a WhatsApp group to share the latest news on the virus.
Phillip said while some drivers are using airconditioning in their maxi taxis, that will be “short-lived” if one case enters the country.
“We are hoping it don’t reach to TT, but we must face reality and it will be the end of A/C in maxi taxi. Commuters will have to travel in the hot maxi.
"Drivers are not panicking, but we are on alert of what is taking place with the virus.
"We cannot let fear stop us from living. At the end of the day we have to provide for our family and we all have to work. The bills still have to be paid. But all we all have to do is take the relevant precautions.”
Phillip said the drivers are always told to wash their hands frequently and not to touch their faces after handling money.
He said they are also encouraged to keep hand sanitisers in their maxi taxis.
“Drivers are also at high risk because they handle money on a daily basis," Phillip said.
"We are still watching to see if there will be any reported case in this country,” he added.
Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) acting general manager Davis Ragoonanan said the PTSC is working with the guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization’s guidelines.
Ragoonanan said the PTSC is also working toward putting a system in place to sanitise its buses regularly and educate staff about the virus.
Asked if drivers will be told to turn off the airconditioning in the buses, Ragoonanan said the idea was discussed and managers will talk further on Thursday to finalise any plans.
“A more detailed release will be put out into the public domain as to the steps PTSC will be taking.
"We are taking this very serious, like everyone else, to ensure that our commuters and staff will have a safe transportation system,” Ragoonanan said.
The first cases of the virus were confirmed in Wuhan,China in December. To date, more than 100 countries have confirmed cases, with over 100,000 worldwide and more than 3,000 deaths.