KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has agreed to enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the operation of express buses that carry passengers and goods throughout the state during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), effective Sunday.
State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said among the SOPs to be complied with by express bus drivers and operators will be that the bus capacity would be limited to 50 per cent based on seats to ensure physical distancing is always maintained.
He said drivers and passengers should also undergo symptom screenings and temperature checks before boarding the bus. This is in addition to the use of face masks at all times, sanitisers, and also reducing interaction with other passengers on the bus.
Drivers will be disallowed from working if they have symptoms (of COVID-19). In addition, the driver or bus operator also has the right to prevent passengers from boarding the bus if they (passengers) have symptoms. Drivers will also be asked to make periodic announcements on the wearing of face masks on the bus.
“Express bus operators can only pick up and drop off passengers at the terminal. Express buses are also not allowed to stop at any stop, including restaurants,” he said in a statement here on Saturday.
Masidi reminded every passenger crossing zones to get police permission first, and said the state government also encouraged the purchase of express bus tickets online or to use non-cash transaction cards such as the monthly pass concept and Touch ‘n Go application.
Drivers and passengers are encouraged to use the QR Code app to register every time they use the bus service through the MySejahtera app or manually by writing their personal information and telephone number,” he said.
He said operators were also encouraged to disinfect the buses every two hours.
Meanwhile, Masidi, who is also the state government’s spokesperson for COVID-19, said a total of 71 new positive cases were recorded today, bringing the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases in the state to 53,864.
He said 77 COVID-19 patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital, bringing the total number of patients who have recovered in Sabah to 52,711.
A total of 1,494 individuals received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today, making a cumulative total of 22,464 recipients since the state-level National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme was launched on March 4, he added.