The Nairobi City County has today waived mortuary fees to decongest the city mortuary and other hospital mortuaries owned by the county.
The County Health Executive, Hitan Majevdia on Tuesday asked family members to collect bodies of their loved ones within the next seven days.
“All bodies should be collected before 31st of March 2020 failure to which the County government of Nairobi will seek legal authority to dispose the same,” he said.
The County Executive who was speaking in his office when he gave an update of new additional measures to protect and safeguard the lives of Nairobi residents from the coronavirus pandemic however noted that bodies held because of police and court cases would be exempted.
Majevdia noted that currently they are in the process of establishing more handwashing facilities within the CBD hotspots and called upon companies to assist them in putting up more of the water spots.
He acknowledged Catholic Relief Services (CRS) who have donated 100 units to be placed in the city and Homeplast company who have donated four stations along Mombasa road.
“I want to appeal to other well-wishers or corporates to support us in this handwashing basin stations. This is the time we need you please come forward, bring it in kind, bring us stations and even if you want to manage them we can come to an agreement,” he said.
Majevdia said the County is proceeding with disinfection of various places in the city such as Wakulima market.
He said so far they have disinfected and decontaminated mains streets of the Nairobi CBD, Gikomba, Muthurwa Market and city markets, disinfected and decontaminated major bus stops such as Kencom, Ambassador, GPO, and Koja Mosque as well as public transport vehicles in major bus stops within the CBD.
“For the last one month we have carried out education of the public on prevention and control of coronavirus and the County is also reinforcing government policy on food establishments to ensure that all food premises only offer take away services and that bars remain closed.
On whether the Nairobi City County will waive bills for those who have been discharged at the county hospitals but are unable to leave because of pending bills, the Health executive said that there are cases that are deserving and for those, through their MCA, they would be looked at on a need basis.
“Exemptions here today does not include hospital bill, if there is a deserving case we can however give special waiver but we are now looking at the mortuary fees,” he clarified.
The County Health Director, Thomas Ogaro said they are disinfecting areas where street families stay and so far have been able to pinpoint the hotspots where they normally sleep.
“The Ministry in conjunction with County government has provided three fogging machines which will be mounted on the vehicles as they go round from today in the evening and morning hours throughout the county starting with CBD then move to other sub counties.
For the water stations, Ogaro said water bowsers are going round to ensure that they are refilled when water runs out, “those manning them should alert us since at this time now we do not want to miss water especially for hand washing.”
The Nairobi City County government has also been screening individuals randomly around the CBD even as government grapples with 16 imported cases of coronavirus and following up over 646 individuals who have been in contacts with confirmed cases.
By Wangari Ndirangu