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Turkana Emergency Response Team Readies for COVID-19.

Turkana Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro  last Wednesday led members of the County Emergency Response Committee (CERC) through an assessment tour of public facilities in Lodwar to ascertain the level of preparedness for COVID-19.

The DG who is the current chair of the CERC split the team which includes senior County Government officials, heads of departments and officials of the national Government into three groups to visit all the critical areas.

He led the first team to Lodwar County Referral Hospital (LCRH), Kanamkemer Sub County Hospital (KSCH) and the police roadblock at the Turkana University where they found admirable levels of readiness.

At the LCRH, the team witnessed establishment of hand washing points and continuous screening of all the people visiting the hospital.

In addition, the team toured the isolation unit and commended the hospital administration for increasing the bed capacity.

While the two main hospitals had put measures in place to enhance Response and safety of locals in the event of COVID-19, Lotethiro and team promised to respond to all the challenges promptly and make the response capacity even better.

The second team which was led by the County Secretary Peter Eripete commended the level of compliance demonstrated by the banking institutions in Lodwar.

In addition to the handwashing facilities and observance of social distance of 1.5 meters as directed by the Ministry of Health, the banks secured ATMs by placing an employee with full protective gears to control the indiscriminate touching of the machines.

Eripete reported that stringent measures were immediately taken against businesses which had not complied with the Trade Licensing Act as well as provisions on suppression of infectious diseases. Two business were shut down and their licenses were withdrawn with immediate effect.

Eripete also cautioned providers of transport services particularly taxis and boda boda operators against flouting the rules laid down to suppress infectious diseases and warned that stringent measures will be taken against them.

The spot-check showed the change in behaviour and perception that has so far been adopted by the general population to enhance safety against the spread of Corona Virus disease.

The last group which was led by County Executive for Health Jane Ajele visited the Lodwar Airstrip where it was reported that the airport authorities were working hand in hand with the County Public Health Public health teams to enhance safety of passengers.

Whereas readiness training was noted as a gap among the employees serving different airline services providers, Ajele promised to regularly send officers to the airstrip to offer continuous capacity building.

County Executive for Infrastructure, Transport and Public Works Benson Lokwang who was a member of the third team noted that there existed gap in control of passengers. He promised to reach out to law enforcement agencies to resolve the problem.

Apart from the airstrip, community units and two feeder health facilities were visited for readiness assessment.

Ajele reported that feeder health facilities were also actively gathering data on TB patients and other clients who would ordinarily visit the hospital on a daily basis to ensure they offer services in such a manner that daily visits would be limited.

By Peter Gitonga

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