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KUWAIT CITY, March 31: After the Cabinet took the decision to suspend public transportation which was followed by the decision to suspend taxi services as part of the precautionary measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, many expatriate workers have been stranded due to lack of means of transportation, considering the inability of a large percentage of expatriate workers to obtain driving licenses, which compels them to use alternative means of transportation to go to work. It has also resulted in financial implications on taxi owners who depend on them to secure their daily food, reports Al-Anba daily.
The daily sought the opinions of Kuwaiti citizens to check the level of their satisfaction with this decision. They were asked, “Will it contribute to limiting the spread of the virus and reducing traffic congestion in various regions?
Below are the details:
A Kuwaiti citizen Saleh Al-Subaie affirmed that the decision to stop taxis is unreasonable. He said, “It is surprising that such a decision was issued, because everyone in Kuwait is aware of the seriousness of the situation. Everyone is committed to precautionary measures such as wearing gloves and masks. The situation in Kuwait has not reached the stage of stopping all means of public transportation, and things are stable so far.”
Also, another citizen Yousef Al- Asousi said the decision to suspend taxi services came at a difficult time because many families in Kuwait use this service for transportation. He stressed that this decision will contribute to the accumulation of labor and cause severe crowding, adding that many of them have obligations to owners of the offices and installments that will accrue on them. Al-Asousi suggested that the operators, instead of parking taxis, should be obliged to carry one passenger at a time instead of overcrowding.
On the other hand, Mohammed Al-Sheiha explained that the decision to stop taxis is correct and limits gatherings and contacts as much as possible. The daily infection cases announced by Ministry of Health happen from contact and have been under investigation. Any decision issued by Ministry of Health and government authorities at the present time is in the interest of citizens and expatriates. He affirmed that taxi owners will be affected by this decision, but with God’s help, all that is harmful is also beneficial, because everyone is affected by this exceptional circumstance. Al-Sheiha said he hopes the taxi owners will be included in the current donation campaigns.
In this regard, another citizen Hassan Al-Hamdan said the decision to suspend taxi movement is positive in the interest of both citizens and residents, especially since it came after the decision to stop public transportation, which will limit the movement of the virus carriers, if any. He too affirmed that the decision will harm taxi owners, but their health is above any consideration, adding that most businesses and shops in Kuwait have been suspended during this period.
Another Kuwaiti citizen Jarrah Al-Muqit explained that the demand for taxis had increased after the Cabinet took the decision to stop public transportation in Kuwait. This led taxi owners to transport more than one passenger in the same route. This resulted in crowding in the same vehicle which can lead to the spread of the virus on a larger scale. He stated that he is in support of any decision that contributes to limiting the spread of the coronavirus, stressing that taxi owners are not the only ones affected, but everyone in Kuwait including citizens, residents and owners of small projects are also affected, as this is a global crisis.