Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: around 30% of STIB staff out sick

Until late March, STIB could not guarantee that buses were thoroughly disinfected before being put back into service. © Belga

High rates of absenteeism due to sickness have been reported within Brussels’ public transport company, as mobility authorities confirmed that thorough disinfection of its vehicles was not the norm until early April.

Figures unveiled in the regional parliament by Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt show that up to 26% of STIB’s bus drivers and 27% of technical staffers are on sick leave, Bruzz reports.

Van den Brandt also said that, until early April, the company had not been able to guarantee the thorough disinfection of buses before they were put back into service.

“Until the end of March, it could not be guaranteed that a bus going back to the depot would be completely disinfected before another driver left with it,” she said. “This has been the case since 1 April, all buses are clean when they leave the depot.”

Related News:

 

The numbers come as commuter traffic decreases to around 10-15% of the usual numbers, with a large number of employers and companies in the capital keeping staff at home.

While STIB has downscaled operations to adapt to the reduced traffic, it has also increased the frequency of some lines in order to facilitate social-distancing.

Due to a low availability of protective equipment, such as face masks, the supplies were given with priority to staff working in conditions where it was difficult to ensure the recommended 1.5 metres of distancing.

Additionally, Van den Brandt said that the public transport company had since chosen to outsource cleaning and disinfection of its vehicles to provide back-up to its own cleaning teams.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...