Government officials in Garissa on Tuesday took the Corona sensitisation campaigns to the streets of Garissa town in an effort to limit the spread of the deadly virus.
Led by Garissa sub-county Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Samuel Njuguna, the officials who included chiefs and their assistants visited the Garissa livestock and the open markets where they emphasised the need for the traders and their customers to maintain the social distancing and regular handwashing.
“These two have been proven to limit the spread of the virus. We are here to emphasise the same and urge each one of you to follow the instructions by the ministry of health,” Njuguna said.
Njuguna said the government will from time to time announce new measures where appropriate but for the time being ‘let’s all stick to the guidelines to stop the virus from spreading’.
The administrator announced that all bars, hotels and eateries in the area have been closed indefinitely. He however, noted that the hotels and eatery joints can prepare takeaway food while those who want to drink can buy their favourite brands from wine and spirit shops.
“If you want to drink then get your drinks from wine and spirit shops. No bars will be allowed to operate. Hotels can prepare and sell takeaway food only,” Njuguna said.
He urged those coming to Garissa town to shop ‘to do so and leave the town when they are through and avoid idling around’.
“We will not allow idling and crowding within the town. When you are done with your business, please go home,” he added.
The administrator said the Garissa open market and livestock markets will remain open but called on the traders to maintain high standards of hygiene. He said shops will also remain open.
“These are the drivers of our economy and for now they will remain open,” the deputy county commissioner said.
“The traders should avail sanitisers and water for hand washing as these have been identified as the best practices to stop the spread of the virus,” he noted.
Dinah Kambura, a trader thanked the government for the campaign it has put in place to stop the spread of the Corona virus.
Kambura pleaded with Kenyans to stop ignoring the government directives ‘lest we regret as a country when things get out of hand’.
Faith Makena, a boda boda rider said that they are having a difficult time in persuading their customers on new directives.
“We are losing a lot of customers because they don’t want to change. There are those who insist to be in pairs to safe on the fare although this has been stopped. We are losing customers but this the price we have to pay,” Makena said.
“Many Kenyans seems not to understand the effects of a full scale outbreak. People seems not to realise the effects of a lockdown. Let us follow the simple directives now before things get out of hand,” she said.
More than 300,000 people have been affected globally with an excess of 13,000 dying of the virus which first broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
At the same time, the National and County governments in Samburu County has today closed all open-markets and some traditional ceremonies as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing the press in Maralal town today, after meeting the County Emergency Response team over the move the Deputy Governor, Julius Leseeto said that County and the National Government have decided jointly to suspend all open-air and livestock markets across the County.
Leseeto called on all business people in the affected markets to remain at home until the government provide way forward.
However, the Deputy Governor put it clear that so far no case of the coronavirus has been reported in the County.
He also asked all people in the area to respect the Ministry of Health’s directive, including the washing of hands, avoiding unnecessary travels but to stay at home with their children.
The Deputy Governor said markets to be affected by the closure include; Maralal livestock markets, lekuru, lolkunuyani, miraa markets, Maralal open-air market, all other markets within the three Sub-counties of Baragoi, Wamba, Suguta-Marmar among others.
Speaking at the same function, the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Joseph Mworuki warned the residents against ignoring the government’s directive, adding that anybody found going against the government instructions will be arrested to face the full force of the law.
Mworuki directed all Chiefs and their Assistants to ensure that the directives have been enforced in their respective jurisdiction, cautioning that disciplinary action will be taken against any administrator found reluctant in implementing the regulations.
Business people interviewed by KNA appealed to the government to allow them sell their goods during a particular period or time of the day to enable them feed their families.
By Jacob Songok/Lelendu Petikas