The government may force foreigners jetting into the country when international air travel resumes to produce Covid-free certificates or go on mandatory quarantine, Government Spokesman Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has said.
He said the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) was considering various options on how best to handle persons entering the country when the government re-opens the country’s borders on August 1, 2020.
Col. Oguna, who was speaking to journalists in Hola Town after officially launching the Kazi Mitaani National Hygiene Programme in Tana River County, however noted that the government may rescind its decision to re-open airports if new outbreaks of Covid-19 emerge in the countries of origin.
“Although a decision has already been made on the resumption of international air travel, it is not a surprise if the committee decides to rescind that decision depending on the situation at that time,” he said.
“If the committee will not close the borders again, it is possible that the foreigners may be required to produce Covid-19 certificates giving them a clean bill of health or proceed for mandatory quarantine, but this is yet to be concluded,” Col. Oguna added.
On July 6, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government would re-open local air travel on July 15, 2020 and re-open the country for international travel on August 1, 2020.
Col Oguna said the government in partnership with other concerned International organizations had put in place measures that will ensure any cases of a new outbreak of a strange illness is reported and dealt with appropriately.
He urged citizens to adhere to the COVID protocols and regulations and observe all precautions so as not to compel the government to resolve to tougher measures.
The government spokesman noted that many counties were yet prepared to tackle the pandemic hence need to support them in speeding up their efforts.
“So far 42 counties have reported positive cases of covid-19, Tana River is yet to record a single case, but is surrounded by sick neighbours which makes it just a matter of time. We are going to direct focus on the counties that are yet to comply,” he said.
Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana, however, said that the administration was very prepared for any case, noting that there were facilities ready to handle cases.
He said the county had 100 Covid-19 beds and was expecting another 200 by the end of this week.
“I know people think we are not prepared and some have been criticising my government in social media. However, we already have 100 beds and 200 more have been procured and will arrive in Tana River before the end of the week,” he said.
The governor added that his county would receive 14 fully equipped pilot hospitals that would provide an additional 100 beds to cater for Covid-19 patients among others.
By Emmanuel Masha