Tensions threatened to spill over on a Maltese bus route after a driver failed to follow precautionary measures issued by Malta Public Transport to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Malta, Lovin Malta can reveal.
A series of videos exclusively sent to Lovin Malta shows how one bus route this morning was allowing several standing passengers onto the bus, despite regulations clearly stating that only seated passengers will be allowed on board.
“Everybody needs to get to work,” the driver tells a passenger reminding him that he is breaking the law.
Several passengers were insistent on the driver obeying the law. Frustrations threatened to turn physical, with a person on the bus telling Lovin Malta that they were ready to break the perspex glass. However, they were clear that they know they went overboard.
“I understand that everyone needs to go to work, and I don’t want to seem like I’m arrogant, but it’s still against the law. The clear solution is that they need to increase the number of buses on the roads,” the person who sent the videos told Lovin Malta.
Malta Public Transport has since responded to the video, stating that it has identified the drive and will take necessary action”
“Malta Public Transport has identified the driver in the incident and action is being taken accordingly. Failure to comply with instructions issued by the authorities will not be tolerated. The company reiterates the importance of all passengers to cooperate and to abide by the new measures in place for their own safety. Malta Public Transport is reviewing passenger numbers every day and dispatching buses according to demand, to provide the best possible service under the current circumstances,” they said.
Tensions have been raised ever since a bus driver tested positive for COVID-19 in Malta. Health authorities conducted contract tracing and placed several employees under mandatory quarantine. According to an email seen by The Malta Independent, the bus was taken in for extra cleaning and fumigation.
MPT has taken other measures to combat the spread, like the installation of perplex between drivers and passengers as well as regular disinfection of buses between shifts.
Passengers have also been encouraged to use bus cards and provide the correct amount to reduce contact with drivers.
The total cases of COVID-19 in Malta have now reached 129 after 19 new cases were confirmed this morning, the highest recorded since the start of the outbreak. Local transmission has continued, accounting for seven of the 19 new cases.
If you believe you are suffering from the coronavirus, follow the following guidelines:
Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
Do not go to Mater Dei, the emergency department, health centres, private clinics, or pharmacies. Stay home and call the public health authority’s helpline 111.
If you are returning from any country, do not break self-quarantine rules or you will be subject to a €10,000 fine.