GEORGE TOWN, June 9 ― The Penang government will provide three buses to transport Covid-19 patients to quarantine centres in the state that continues to record over 100 cases daily.
Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the buses will transport Covid-19 patients to the quarantine centres in Pusat Kecemerlangan MARA (MEC) in Jawi and Pusat Latihan Zakat (PULAZA) in Balik Pulau.
“The state government will be allocating RM72,000 per month for the three buses to operate,” he said.
He said the allocation was initially approved for the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) bus service under the state’s 2021 Budget.
The CAT bus service was reduced due to the Movement Control Order 3.0 and the three buses are from the service, he added.
He said the provision of the buses was to assist the state health department in handling Covid-19 patients.
The three buses will be operated by RapidPenang according to the state’s agreement with RapidPenang on the provision of CAT service.
He said the bus drivers were given special training, orientation sessions and were vaccinated by the state health department yesterday.
“Each bus will be sanitised at the quarantine centre after the Covid-19 patients have been transported to the centres,” he said.
All of the bus drivers will also be given full person protection equipment (PPE) and other supporting equipment to ensure their safety.
“We hope that with the provision of the bus service, it will alleviate the issues the health department faces in terms of logistics and transportation of patients,” he said.
The bus service for Covid-19 patients starts today and will run on a monthly basis.
Zairil, when contacted, said they will review the necessity to continue the bus service on a monthly basis.
“If, for example, after two to three months, the cases drop to only 50 a day, we won’t need the buses anymore,” he said.