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Coronavirus Pandemic

Parked school buses disinfected regularly as UAE operators await reopening of campuses

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on June 17, 2020
covid-19, coronavirus, schools, buses, UAE, abu dhabi, education, safety measures, students

(Alamy image)

Since schools were closed in March as part of Covid-19 precautions, several buses remained parked at schools.

Though students are attending classes from their homes, school buses in Abu Dhabi are being cleaned and disinfected regularly as operators wait for the reopening of campuses.  

Transport operators in the Capital said that since schools were closed in March as part of Covid-19 precautions, the students' buses have been parked at schools and in parking lots.

"All our school buses are parked and not used for any other purposes. We maintain and disinfect the buses regularly - at least once a month, to ensure they are safe and in good condition as we wait to see if schools will reopen when the new academic year begins," said Suhail Akhtar, manager of Shanawaz Transort company in Abu Dhabi.

He said some of their school bus drivers have been sent on unpaid leave till the end of August, while others have been operating vehicles that transport construction and cleaning workers.

Russana Desilva, from the school operations department of Five Star Passengers in Abu Dhabi, said that although their school buses are not being used at the moment, the company ensures that appropriate maintenance work and disinfection are being done. 

"We disinfect the school buses regularly, and we are preparing the buses so we can be ready to transport students once schools resume," she said, adding that majority of their school bus drivers have also had to take long periods of unpaid leave.

Ateeq Mohammed Al Mazrouei, director of operations department,Public Transport Sector of the Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi, recently said all the 7,625 school buses in the emirate have been completely disinfected.

Drop in demand 

Emirates Transport (ET), the largest state-owned transport company, confirmed that owing to the circumstances arising from the pandemic, there has been a major drop in certain transport services, particularly for the education institutions such as schools, universities and Quran teaching centres.  

However, ET said they saw an increase in demand in other sectors, such as cargo transport, food delivery services, and shipping for e-commerce. The firm said it has been using a fleet of 200 vehicles to deliver food and other goods across Abu Dhabi.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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