Matatu operators in Murang’a County were put on toes to ensure they sanitise passengers using their vehicles.
On Wednesday, a team of security officers led by the County Police Commander, Josphat Kinyua conducted an impromptu inspection at local matatu terminus to ensure laid down directives towards containing spread of coronavirus are adhered to.
Every matatu Sacco is directed to ensure it has enough sanitisers for passengers and also for cleaning the vehicle before and after boarding.
Kinyua said public transport is identified as one of the high risk areas for spread of the disease, noting that Saccos which will not adhere to given guidelines will be barred to operate.
He observed that since Tuesday, many people have been traveling especially from Nairobi to rural areas and also students are heading home from their learning institutions.
“We have witnessed increase of passengers and this calls for strict measures to ensure every one using public vehicle is safe from the disease,” said Kinyua.
Every Sacco should put measures of cleaning their vehicles before passengers boarding and even after every trip. Every passenger using public transport needs to be sanitized,” added Kinyua.
He further noted that public service vehicles which are not authorised to ply Murang’a routes will also be barred.
A spot check by KNA at main terminus in Murang’a established that most Saccos have placed water for cleaning hands at their vehicle parking bays.
Director of Murang’a Shuttle Sacco, Martin Wairumu said his Sacco has adhered to given directions and will continue doing so until the country will be free from the disease.
Considering the high number of travelers, he urged the government to provide free or cheap sanitisers, saying unscrupulous business people have inflated prices of the chemicals.
“A 300-millilitre bottle of sanitiser is currently being sold at Sh.1, 000. It’s quite expensive for matatu operators and we don’t want to transfer the costs to passengers,” added Martin.
The Murang’a County Community Health Officer, Stephen Kuria observed that his department has started to locally produce sanitisers which will be distributed to public places.
He noted that they have procured needed chemicals to mix up and make effective sanitizers which will also be given to public offices.
Kuria said matatu crews should be observant and ensure cleanliness is always maintained in their vehicles.
“Coronavirus can easily spread among passengers if precautions are not well taken. We are very keen monitoring operations of public transport to seal any loophole which can lead to spread of the disease,” he added.
By Bernard Munyao