Health dept targets taxi operators in COVID-19 fight

Health dept targets taxi operators in COVID-19 fight

Saturday, October 24, 2020

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THE Westmoreland Health Department is embarking on targeted interventions aimed at influencing behaviour change as part of the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Health Promotion and Education Officer Gerald Miller told JIS News that the move comes out of the recent findings of a Knowledge and Attitude Survey conducted among operators of public passenger vehicles (PPV).

He said that the data-driven approach is being used to steer its public education campaign, in order to better contain the spread of the virus and foster public adherence to Government's established COVID-19 protocols.

Miller said that while some of the operators demonstrated cautious behaviour and were aware of the risks of contracting COVID-19, a number of them have expressed “eccentric views” about the disease, its genesis, as well as the purpose of vaccines being developed.

He noted also that some individuals do not see themselves at risk.

“We now have to be doing our small group discussions with them, which we have conducted, and engaging them to find out where the gaps are and what are the issues impacting them,” Miller said.

He told JIS News that 200 masks were distributed to taxi operators for personal use and for distribution to passengers.

“We have been engaging other stakeholders to see if we can get some more masks and sanitiser… that is a need of the taxi operators. What we also observed with the taxi men is that they are not wearing the mask correctly, and that is something that I find a bit more worrisome,” Miller said.

Additionally, he said that 200 informational brochures were issued to taxi operators, highlighting the heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 during conveyance.

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