With a surging number of positive cases, people with Covid have been waiting for days to be taken to medical or isolation facilities. These buses and minibuses are expected to speed up the process.
The vehicles are expected to make three or four trips per day between 8am and 8pm, carrying only one patient – or patients from the same family – each time.
The Fire Services Department is co-ordinating the operation.
Earlier, 300 dedicated taxis began moving Covid patients to and from designated public clinics.
“If you look at the number of infected cases in the last few days, the number keeps on rising. So I think just a few hundred of taxis are not good enough to support all these services. That’s why the government asked the non-franchised bus operators, as well as the minibus operators to help,” said transport sector lawmaker Frankie Yick.
“Depending on the situation, I think the trade is ready to support if the government needs more vehicles for these kind of services.”
Drivers have to wear protective gear, and get tested for the virus before they start work each day.
A representative of minibus operators surnamed Ma said some drivers are worried they may get infected, but they believe it is their duty to help fight the pandemic.