All open air markets in the entire Kwale County have been ordered closed on Tuesday to avert spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The county authorities said open-air markets and market days remain suspended in a bid to adhere to the national government’s directive that people should maintain social distancing of at least one-meter to curtail the spread of the virus.
The coastal county has confirmed its first coronavirus case of a foreign national on Sunday who is under medical care at the Msambweni sub county hospital.
The county public health department has also started scaling up of disinfection of hospitals and other public facilities
Governor Salim Mvurya who is also the Chairman of the County Emergency Response Team said public sensitization and awareness campaigns on covid-19 have been scaled up in all the 20 wards of the county.
He said his administration in collaboration with the national government will be strengthening all measures aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic in the region.
The governor said the county response team on covid-19 will be raising the level of preparedness and health protection measures for the residents.
“All tuk tuks (three wheeler taxis) will strictly carry one passenger as opposed to three and observe prescribed hygiene standards,” he said.
He called on the residents to take precautions and follow directives given by the relevant health authorities.
“People should use the hand washing facilities which we have installed in strategic places in the county and use sanitizers and obey other public health safety guidelines,” he said.
The county boss also welcomed the move by the national government to close down the Kenya-Tanzania border at the Lunga Lunga crossing point.
“In the wake of the closure of the border crossing point we urge the security agencies to increase surveillance on the same,” he said.
Tanzania has confirmed 12 coronavirus cases, including eight Tanzanians and four foreign nationals who are all under medical care.
He said the county government has set aside isolation wards in health facilities spread in Matuga, Msambweni, Kinango, and Lunga Lunga sub-counties for the management of coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) is mulling over suspending crossing of pedestrians, including cyclists and handcarts at the Likoni crossing channel to fight coronavirus pandemic.
The KFS Managing Director, Bakari Gowa said maintaining social distancing at the vital crossing channel that connects Mombasa Island to the mainland south is proving difficult task.
Gowa said they are contemplating scaling down ferry operations to only serving motorists and motorcycles.
“The ferries operate 24 hours and handles over 360,000 people daily who are at risk to the exposure of covid-19,” he said.
By Hussein Abdullahi