An “absolutely livid” Perth taxi firm boss has pleaded with symptomatic customers not to use public transport after a passenger told one of his drivers she had just tested positive for coronavirus more than 20 miles into a journey.
Ace Taxis director Anddy Lothian revealed a customer travelling from Perth to Dundee in one of his cabs on Sunday nonchalantly revealed to the driver she had tested positive for the virus while in the vehicle.
The driver, who is in his mid-60s, is self-isolating at home and being supported by NHS Tayside. Meanwhile, his vehicle has been quarantined and is being completely sterilised.
After hearing the woman open up about her diagnosis over the phone, the driver asked if she was telling the truth and was told, to his horror, she was.
Mr Lothian said: “One of our drivers was taking a passenger from Perth to Dundee on Sunday. When he was at Dundee, the customer was on her phone telling a friend how she was worried and scared as she had just tested positive for Covid-19.
“The driver asked the customer if she had actually tested positive for Covid-19 and was told the bad news that she had.”
Anddy explained anybody who has tested positive or has a suspected case can use a special sealed vehicle, provided by NHS Tayside, to be transported if they need to be.
He said that under no circumstances should people who think they are ill be using public transport.
“While I do feel sorry for the customer involved I also find it incredible and unbelievable that anyone with Covid-19 would then use public transport and put other people’s lives at risk when the guidelines are self isolate immediately.
“He’s worried sick about himself and his family. I’m furious that this has happened to him.
“No warning was given to either the office or the driver at pickup that the passenger had tested positive.
“We’ve upped the hygiene with wipes and cleaning products in the taxis which are being used between passengers and we’re doing our best to get back to normal. I dread to think what would have happened if she hadn’t said.
“The driver now is under a lot of stress, wondering if he is now going to catch this dreadful virus. He’s has had to go into immediate isolation for two weeks and we’re arranging a test.
“The vehicle is now getting sterilised top to bottom. We’ve been told we can go in and clean it after three days but it will be off the road for at least a week.
“The NHS have already started the track and trace policy on this. They have been in contact and offered the driver advice and what to do next.
“Please, please, please do not travel on public transport if you even think you might have anything wrong with you. It is selfish to put others’ lives at risk, if not also criminal.
“It’s common decency and it’s your responsibility to stay at home if you have tested positive.
An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “Self-isolation means that the person affected and all household members or extended household members should remain at home and should not go to work, school, shops, public areas or use public transport.
“If a taxi is required then the person should provide information at the time of booking that they may have symptoms of COVID-19.
“If using public transport the person should keep away from other people. Facial coverings should be worn at all times.”