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Kagwe warns PSV of ferrying excess passengers during the festive season

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said public service vehicles found ferrying excess passengers would be nabbed and detained at police stations.
The CS said his ministry is working with that of Transport and Inspector General of Police to ensure lives of Kenyans would not be put at risk of contracting covid-19 by greedy matatu operators.
Kagwe on Friday speaking in Murang’a said the detained vehicles will only be released in January after celebrations of Christmas and new year holidays.
He observed that some PSV operators may tend to ferry more passengers than required numbers with aim of making extra profit during this period when many people were believed to travel to various destinations to celebrate Christmas holiday.
“Some drivers and touts may be guided by their greed and opt to ferry more passengers; we will not allow this as it will worsen the pandemic,” he added.
Social distance, he said, must be adhered to so as to ensure the spread of covid-19 is controlled noting that people must also avoid social gathering not only at public areas but also at homes.
“Is my appeal as people celebrate Christmas and new year, they should not abandon protocols given by the ministry of health to help contain the spread of covid-19,” he further said.
If possible, Kagwe urged Kenyans to avoid traveling especially to rural areas as frequent movement will lead to spike of the disease.
“Don’t take the virus from Nairobi to the upcountry where our elderly parents are, we can enjoy the holidays where we are and ensure we don’t spread the disease further,” he said.
Kagwe’s sentiments came at a time when some PSV operators are taking advantage of the holidays to ferry excess passengers.
Last week, scores of PSV in Murang’a were apprehended by police after they were found ferrying excess passengers.
Majority of the PSV are also blamed for ignoring covid-19 protocols, something which is feared may lead to a surge of the virus.
“Some matatu operators have forgotten to sanitize their passengers; drivers and other members of the crew most of the time forget to put on masks. This may get us back to where we have come from in terms of covid-19,” stated Kagwe.
His sentiments were echoed by Murang’a County Woman Representative Sabina Chege who challenged Kenyans to shelve their plans to travel upcountry this time the country is faced by a coronavirus pandemic.
Chege who is also chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Health said reduced movement of people may assist greatly in combating spread of the virus.
By Bernard Munyao

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