The National and county governments in Meru has constituted a committee of government officials, essential service providers and religious leaders to offer strategic management in the event of coronavirus spread in the county.
The Committee headed by the County Commissioner (CC), Alan Machari on Monday cautioned Meru residents against panic reactions and to avoid speculations about the disease, saying all communication will be coordinated before it is shared to the public through established channels.
Speaking after a planning meeting held in Meru town on Monday, Machari said a raft of measures have been deliberated on including stopping the sale of food on roadsides and places that may be an easy avenue for spreading the virus in case it breaks out in the region.
“I call upon open air traders to follow the basic hygiene requirements to provide a facility for washing of hands before the trade. Public transport operators should ensure thorough cleaning of vehicles and provide sanitisers,” stated the CC.
Machari said the administration will not hesitate closing down premises that shall be found likely to endanger the lives of the residents and asked operators of social places and shopping malls to ensure the highest hygiene standards.
“We are going to assess entertainment joints case by case and any that shall be found endangering the health of residents we shall recommend closure,” said the CC.
The CEC for Health, Misheck Mutuma stated that the health department in the county is prepared for any eventuality and added an isolation ward has been set aside to handle any case of coronavirus.
Mutuma said health workers have been trained and equipment for screening of the virus put in place.
“Up to now we are prepared. We have set aside some isolation wards for that and we shall be having periodic meetings to assess how we are progressing on and so far things are okay in Meru,” posed the CEC.
He called on residents not to panic since there are no cases reported in the county.
Mutuma called on traders in the region to follow laid down safety measures at their places of trade reiterating that they have a responsibility to ensure health and sanitation standards prevail.
The County Secretary, Gideon Kimathi appealed to the media in the region to be proactive in their dissemination of accurate information especially with the upsurge of fake news that is bound to cause panic among members of the public.
“We have agreed that all communication shall emanate from one centre. The CEC for health and the county commissioner shall be coordinating the release of any information after consultation,” stated Kimathi.
He called on the media to help in tracking any fake news doing rounds on social media and refrain from sharing misleading information aimed at causing panic.
“Please try to verify every bit of information before reporting on it for accuracy purposes,” advised the County Secretary.
Meanwhile, the Samburu County has established a health emergency response committee to enhance surveillance and execution of all directives aimed at containing the spread of killer Coronavirus.
This follows the Presidential Directive that each county to have coronavirus committee to oversee the operations of counter measures meant to contain the pandemic.
Addressing the press after meeting all the County Executive Committee members today the Samburu County Deputy Governor, Julius Leseeto said that both the National and County governments will work together to ensure that the spread of the virus is managed and contained.
Leseeto further announced that the County Government has already identified and prepared special isolation rooms at the Maralal Level Five Referral Hospital as well as in all Sub-County Hospitals.
“The County government is prepared to ensure that special rooms have been put aside in and within all Sub-county hospitals, I call upon all people in this county to be careful and to observe all directives issued by both National and County governments including that of self-quarantine whenever there is a suspect case in order to prevent further spread of the pandemic,” Leseeto said.
The Deputy Governor assured that County Department of Health is on high alert and working closely with other stakeholders to ensure that the area is free from the dreaded Covid-19 disease, calling upon the residents to minimize their travel scheduled to reduce chances of contracting the virus.
The Governor at the same time appealed to the National Government to monitor all vehicles using the Archers-post and Suguta-Marmar roads to curb human trafficking as well as foreigners who occasionally use the route, saying it is a possible transmission risky path.
The Deputy County Commissioner, Joseph Mworuki said that the government has banned operations of night clubs, and urged churches, mosques to ensure high standards of hygiene is observed as well as avoiding unnecessary meetings.
Mworuki directed all security officers in the County to ensure the Presidential Directives as well as other measures dictated by the Health Departments are followed to the letter in order to be safe and curb the spread of Covid 19.
By Richard Muhambe/Lelendu Petikas