The Kilifi County government has set aside Sh.75 million emergency funds to facilitate in setting up of four isolation centres for suspected cases of coronavirus.
Jibana, Ganze, Msumarini and Gede health facilities will have isolation wards for suspected patients with others yet to be identified by the health department.
Addressing the media outside his office on Tuesday, the Kilifi Governor, Amason Kingi said all bus and matatu stages within the County will have sanitizers where commuters will have to wash their hands before and after boarding public vehicles to enhance hygiene.
He urged the public to restrain themselves from movement to and out of urban centres to the rural areas and at the same time ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants in the major towns of Malindi, Mtwapa and Kilifi among others.
“We are determined to ensure the safety of our citizens against the disease and hope they will cooperate to ensure success in keeping off possible cases of outbreak of the pandemic. We will use all resources at our disposal to succeed,” he said.
He urged the national government to enhance screening of visitors at entry points within the sea and land for the safety of the public.
Elsewhwere, the Matatu operators in Nyahururu have taken measures to contain the global Coronavirus epidemic currently facing the country.
A spot-check at the matatu terminus revealed that some operators were taking stern precautions though others seemed to have ignored the situation.
“We are not taking any chances with our lives, we have to protect ourselves from this disease the best we can,” said Francis Kamau, the manager at Nuclear stage.
“We have provided all our workers with surgical masks and gloves to prevent them from contracting the deadly disease,” said Kamau.
He said that they were also using spirit and glycerine as improvised home-made sanitizers since it was difficult to get original antiseptics.
On his part, the Chairman of the 4NTE Matatu Sacco, Wilfred Kimotho urged Kenyans not to take the matter at hand lightly, adding that COVID -19 is a dangerous disease.
At the same time, Kimotho decried overpriced sanitizers, whose prices have since skyrocketed to unaffordable rates as gullible traders seek to reap huge profits.
“We are also encountering challenges with some passengers complaining that the sanitizers are affecting them and staining their clothes,” he said.
However, one of the drivers, John Mwangi said, “We have to keep ourselves safe, we thank our managers for the timely intervention to minimize chances of contracting the lethal virus.”
Nonetheless, while some operators have taken commendable precautionary measures, others are still waiting on the government to provide them with protective gears.
“We are waiting on the government to give directions like they did with the education sector,” said King’ori Kigathi, a driver with another bus company.
Kigathi also requested the government to offer more sensitization to matatu operators and also provide them with gloves, masks and sanitizers.
Meanwhile, the Maasai traditional ceremonies in Kajiado County have been banned indefinitely to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The County Commissioner (CC), Joshua Nkanatha directed the on-going ‘Manyatta’ ceremonies in Imbirikani, Dalalekutuk, Lodokilani and Magadi to be stopped immediately for a period of one month to minimize the spread of the virus.
“I have directed that the ongoing traditional ‘manyatta’ ceremonies at Dalalekutok, Lodokilani, Magadi and all others be cancelled with immediate effect for a period of one month pending further directions,” CC said.
The Directive comes two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that all schools be closed to curb the spread of Covid 19.
Nkanatha further directed all Government Departments to scale down human capital as well as maintain high levels of hygiene in their work stations and avail hand sanitizers to the staff as well as to the members of the public.
“Following the Presidential Executive Order that has been issued to us that we ensure we protect and maintain security and health status of all government employees as well as the citizenry, I hereby direct that the Heads of Department come up with a befitting program for all their staffs to ensure that we don’t have congestion in the offices so as to minimize human contact,” Nkanatha said.
A cross- check at Government offices on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, revealed that few employees had reported to work with all activities at the Kajiado Law Courts suspended as the courts remained closed.
All land registries and survey offices in Kajiado and Ngong towns remained closed as from Monday following the directive from Lands CS, Farida Karoney, that the offices be shut to contain the spread of the virus.
The CC called on residents to remain calm and cooperate with the government to help curb the spread of coronavirus following the confirmation of its presence in the country with the first case confirmed on 13th March 2020. To date, there are four confirmed case.
He added that county surveillance of the virus had been stepped-up, especially at the border entry points of Namanga and Loitokitok.
“Kajiado is one of the 14 counties identified as high- risk- spots and screening of persons entering the country from Tanzania through Namanga and Loitokitok has been enhanced to curb the importation of the disease into the country,” said Nkanatha.
By KNA TEAM