The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Zone 5 Command, Benin, has warned commercial motorists against the use of the air-conditioning system to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The FRSC Zonal Commander, ACM Ayobami Omiyale, gave the warning on Thursday in Asaba, while addressing newsmen during his familiarisation tour of the Corps’ Command in Delta.
Omiyale said he was in Delta to sensitise officials of the command on the need to ensure that commercial transport operators adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols.
He said that offenders would forfeit their vehicles.
“Following the partial lifting of the interstate travels, we want to remind transporters that the COVID-19 protocols are still very much in force.
“Every transporter is expected to comply with the directives of the protocols to help curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
“Let me remind us that no transporter is allowed to use the air-conditioning system while on transit.
“The reason is that all windows in the vehicles are expected to be opened to allow for proper ventilation.
“A situation where the windows are closed will give room for contraction of the virus among the passengers.
“For instance, if there is an emission of sputum or saliva from any of the passengers, it will circulate inside, and those who may not be wearing face masks will be at risk of infection.
“But, when the windows are opened, fresh air can come in and flush out the contaminated air,” Omiyale said.
The zonal commander said that with the “Ember Months” around the corner, the FRSC would by next month commence patrols to ensure safety on the roads.
“No transporter is expected to overload his vehicle; in short, they are required to carry half of the number of passengers they used to carry.
“Any commercial transporter found to be flouting the COVID-19 protocols would have his or her vehicle impounded,” Omiyale said.