Myanmar buses get private pods to lower coronavirus risk

YANGON, June 19 (Reuters) - A travel company in Myanmar has modified a dozen of its long-distance buses to make private pods for passengers in a bid to ease fears about coronavirus infection.

By Zaw Naing Oo

JJ Express has built mini cabins with aluminium panels and a door around single seats either side of a central aisle, cutting the capacity of each bus by half.

The company said it had also overhauled the air conditioning system and installed disinfection filters.

“We realise that the change in travel norms is inevitable,” company manager Kyawt Kyawt Thet said.

“As a result, we believe that we will gain trust from the customers and we will be able to sustain it well in the future.”

The company said it had retrofitted 12 of its 50 interstate buses, and may modify more if there is demand.

Passengers now pay about $20 for each journey, 20% higher than the standard bus.

“We didn’t dare travel during the COVID-19. We didn’t feel safe when two people sat close to each other on the twin seat,” said one customer, Ko Kai, who regularly makes the 10-hour, 650 km (400-mile) trip between Yangon and Shan State.

“Now, we feel safer sitting in this private chamber, it’s much more comfortable,” he added, speaking through a mask.

Myanmar has confirmed 286 coronavirus cases and six deaths. On Friday it reported 23 new infections, all found in quarantine among deportees from Thailand. (Reporting by Zaw Naing Oo; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Andrew Heavens)


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.