The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) at the weekend scaled- up disinfection exercise at the Port of Mombasa in an effort to curb the spread of novel Coronavirus (covid-19).
The wide scale disinfection is being done at a time that ports across the world have been identified as the potential conduit for the spread of the disease.
The Port of Mombasa is the gateway to the East and Central Africa and is one of the busiest ports in the region.
On Sunday KPA Managing Director (MD), Engineer Rashid Salim, said the fumigation exercise in the port environment will continue in a bid to curb further spread of the coronavirus.
“The exercise targets to cover all the work stations at the port,” he said, adding that mandatory screening and disinfecting of all cargo ships and crew has also been intensified.
He said all offices at the Marine Control Tower Unit are undergoing fumigation and all pilot boats disinfected to keep the virus at bay, which has been declared a global pandemic.
KPA also fumigated Administration Department Offices, container terminal offices, the Bandari Clinic and the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) in a bid to protect staff against covid-19.
Last week KPA recorded seven confirmed cases of covid-19 and two deaths since the disease was first reported in the country on March 13.
Eng. Salim said the port community is getting ready for a mass testing set to be rolled out soon by the Port Health Unit in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
He said to reduce human contact at the KPA they have started on-line cargo documentation processes to enable customers clear cargo electronically and reduce human traffic within the port facility.
Two weeks ago all KPA employees aged 58 years and above and those with underlying medical conditions have been sent home following the outbreak of covid-19 at the facility.
“While we have sent some staff home we have a plan in place to ensure the continuity of port operations, in particular, the manning of all critical services to support the essential flow of goods and materials,” said Salim.
He said KPA has also embarked on a sensitization drive within the port to educate stakeholders on the new coronavirus with special focus on its prevention.
Eng. Salim said KPA is doing everything possible to ensure the continuity of port operations while protecting the staff and trying to avoid further spread of the virus.
Common signs of Coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever and cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
By Hussein Abdullahi