Police and other enforcement officers on Wednesday launched a serious crackdown on people without masks in Lodwar that saw scores of people arrested and ferried into police lorries and vehicles.
However, they were released after several hours with a warning to ensure they wear masks whenever they are in public places.
Police have erected three roadblocks at the Lodwar-Kanamkemer bridge, Kawalase and National cereal and produce board which are the main entry points into Lodwar town with a view to ensuring that everyone entering or leaving the town wears masks.
Turkana central Deputy County commissioner Alexander Mativo said the police are not happy to arrest people but they are keen to ensure everyone wears facemasks for their own good.
Wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands with soap are among the key ways of preventing the spread of the Corona virus.
“From tomorrow (Thursday) we shall have no other option but to arrest those who do not wear and charge them in a court of law,” Mativo said.
Mativo expressed concern that most of those arrested had masks in their pockets or vehicles but refused to wear them with excuses that the county is too hot.
He added that the crackdown is not targeting those walking on foot only but bodaboda operators and those in public, private and government vehicles will not be spared.
The administrator added that in addition to sensitising members of public on the need to wear masks, the national and county governments and other partners have donated several masks for the needy.
“We have given bodaboda operators 9,000 masks and 10,000 for those affected by floods,” said the Deputy County commissioner.
Chiefs have also been given masks to distribute to the elderly and vulnerable in the community.
He maintained that the crackdown would continue until they achieve 100 percent compliance.
By Peter Gitonga