Meru county residents have been urged to embrace the new mobile phone technology, security management tool in a move to support security agencies in tracking down cases of insecurity during this Covid-19 pandemic period.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, the Meru County Commissioner (CC), Alan Machari encouraged members of the public in the region to adopt the toll free SMS tool called Mulika Uhalifu by sending short message alerts to 988 for immediate action from his security team in the county.
Machari said the application which has been on piloting for the last two weeks has yielded good results in helping to combat crime in the region, noting that 90 percent of the suspected cases of Covid-19 have been tracked successfully through the tool which so some individuals put under quarantine.
“So far since the fight against Covid-19 started, we have had 23 people put under quarantine, two of them under forced-quarantine and the rest into a successful self-quarantine, but they have all been cleared of the virus upon second testing,” he said, adding that county is awaiting results for other two samples taken for testing.
He added that the application which is nationwide has seen cases of cattle theft detected and mitigation measures taken on time.
The CC stated that though Meru residents are very active in sharing information, the use of social media is common but sometimes there are cases of inaccurate information that makes his security team find difficulties to act upon it.
“Social media is good and we are getting a lot of information from it but remember sometimes we get a lot of incorrect information. Once any message comes through the 988 number, it will be acted upon and anything that requires investigation will be done expeditiously and action taken,” noted Machari, while expressing confidence that nobody will have a chance to state concerned authorities never got informed.
He said his security team is on the high alert and using its networks, all those who will be found partying or causing disturbances to their neighbours shall face the full face of the law.
“We have instructed our village managers across the county to be vigilant and report any person contravening government directives so that appropriate action is taken,” he maintained, stating that the county has a 24/7 command centre.
Machari explained that though no positive coronavirus case had been confirmed in the region, his administration in collaboration with the county government will not let anything to chance.
He said they have mapped out 10 hotspots besides ensuring mandatory screening of all people entering the county from other areas.
“Social distancing still remains a challenge being faced in some busy places such as market places although authorities are working out on plans, including shifting some market activities to curb crowding,” said the county commissioner.
By Richard Muhambe