The war against Coronavirus took a new turn in Siaya when local police were deployed in strategic points to sensitise the public even as a member of the county assembly accused the law enforcers of skewed enforcement of the government directives aimed at curbing its spread.
Over 60 police officers were deployed along the town streets, bus parks, the market and other areas in what the Siaya police commander, Francis Kooli said were attempts to educate the public on the need to adhere to the guidelines.
“The police have many strategies to enforce government guidelines, not necessarily through the use of force,” he said while speaking to the media in Siaya.
Kooli said that his office had done mapping of the potential high risk areas such as boda boda shades, bus stage and market places where the officers are sensitising the public on issues such as social distancing, hand washing and sanitisation among others.
He said that the exercise will be carried out continuously throughout the county and called on the public to adhere to the guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, Usonga ward Member of the County Assembly, Sylvester Madialo, has accused the law enforcement agents of targeting politicians for arrest and leaving out ordinary folks who attend burials in attempt to enforce a requirement that not more than 15 people attend such occasions.
Madialo said that the law must not be applied selectively, adding that the police need to round up and subject everybody who violate the guidelines to quarantine and test.
The Usonga MCA, together with his West Alego ward counterpart, Felix Okumu were early this week summoned by the police after attending a burial in Usonga, in contravention of the guidelines.
Okumu was locked up in mandatory quarantine at the Kenya Medical Training College in Siaya town and had to have his sample tested for coronavirus. He was released two days later after the test turned negative.
“Why selectively target politicians in a group that attends a burial? Everybody should be rounded up or summoned for tests,” he posed adding that the funeral that he attended was of a neighbour.
He denied going into hiding upon being summoned by the officer commanding Siaya police station, adding that he went to the station on March 31, 2020 in honour of the summon.
Madialo challenged the Siaya emergency responce team, headed by governor Cornel Rasanga and the county commissioner, Michael ole Tialal to respect confidentiality of the suspected patients, adding that it was not proper to have his name, and that of his counterpart all over the media that they had been tested for the virus.
By Philip Onyango