As counties across the country scale up their operations to contain the spread of coronavirus in their regions, Taita Taveta government has erected screening centers at all strategic sections for thousands of travelers using the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and other main roads getting into the county.
Workers from the health department have been deployed to man the center located at Miasenyi and Manyani sections along the busy highway. The third center is located at Njukini in Taveta along the Taveta-Illassit Highway.
Travelers on these routes will undergo mandatory checks that involve checking of temperature. Any case of abnormal temperature is isolated for further tests. Should any passenger show signs related with coronavirus, they will be transferred to selected quarantine facilities where more tests will be done.
Governor Granton Samboja stated that the county was at a high risk of getting the pandemic given its proximity to Kwale, Kilifi, Kajiado and Mombasa where cases of corona have been confirmed.
“We are a highway county and will check everyone passing through here. Any suspicious case will be isolated for more tests. We are not taking any chances,” he said.
Talks are already underway with other counties in coast region to initiate such tests to further contain the spread of this deadly virus. There are plans to deploy a separate team in estates and other settlemens areas to start mass testing of temperature for the local people.
“We are in the process of sending another team to the public where people will be tested in their homes. We ask for cooperation from our people,” he said.
As travelers get screened, the county has announced that salons, barbershops and beauty parlors will close from Monday for 21-days to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Other sectors that have been told to comply include construction sectors where a gathering of more than 15 people has been outlawed.
The governor also said a severe crackdown on bodaboda riders who are carrying more than one passengers will be conducted in the whole county.
The County Emergency Response Committee has also started gathering data of the vulnerable people in the county. They include households with children aged five and below, people aged over 65 and those from the low-income bracket.
The County Executive Member for Health Mr. John Mwakima said the screening along the major entry points into the county would continue. He added that the public was being urged to continue washing hands and keeping distance to ensure their own safety.
“We will still go on telling people to wash hands and keep distance. Safety starts with the person,” he said
By Wagema Mwangi