Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA
Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA

There will be random screening of passengers for the Covid-19 virus at all taxi ranks and train stations, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.

This was after President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday declared a national state of disaster and announced sweeping measures to contain the spread of the virus, which included travel restrictions on foreigners from hard-hit countries, a ban on mass gatherings of more than 100 people and the closure of schools.

Various ministers on Monday addressed the media following the president’s announcement to give further details on the government’s plan to try to contain the virus.

As of Sunday night, there were 61 confirmed cases. Health minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday said the government was investigating another four cases and would provide an update later in the day.

Concern has been raised over the number of South Africans who are forced to use public transport to get around.

Mbalula said he will engage with the transport sector and issue instructions and consolidate plans.

He said the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) will sanitise all its trains and called on all taxi operators to also do the same with their vehicles.

“The social distancing will affect us in terms of taxis … random testing will be applied in all the taxi ranks and all the trains but equally taxis will also be expected to undergo sanitisation,” Mbalula said.

He later clarified that he meant screening and not testing.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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