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Counties announce a raft of measures to contain Covid-19
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|Counties announce a raft of measures to contain Covid-19 by Kenyans247(1): Tue 17, March, 2020 12:32pm|
Counties on Monday instituted tough measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. This came a day after President Kenyatta urged government institutions to reduce public interaction by cutting down non-essential services.
Kakamega County government suspended admission of bodies to all its mortuaries amid growing fears of coronavirus.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya urged families with bodies in the mortuaries to collect them immediately.
The governor also announced a waiver on the standard charges of all the bodies currently in the mortuary. County Medical Superintendent Victor Zimbulu said a total 65 bodies were lying at the county general hospital mortuary. “57 have been identified, three are unclaimed while five are under police case.”
WORK FROM HOME
In Nandi, Governor Stephen Sang asked about 4,000 employees to work from home for the next 30 days. “Only those in the finance and health dockets will continue working from their offices,” he said.
The governor also banned hawking of food and directed the closure of all open-air markets, early childhood development facilities and night clubs.
He also closed athletics training facilities and directed all athletes to vacate training camps immediately.
In Uasin Gishu, the county banned night clubs from operating, introduced hand-washing equipment and sanitisers in bus termini and launched a crackdown on public gatherings.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said they have agreed with the matatu leadership to decongest termini as a preventive measure.
He also asked residents to stop shaking hands and hugging.
Mr Mandago said they had formed an emergency response committee composed of MCAs and the Executive. “We also are working with the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to ensure that experts and our personnel are on high alert.”
In Bungoma, a spot check by the Nation at the busy bus terminal found water points put in place for passengers to wash hands before boarding or after alighting.
Mr Simon Obongita, the director of Bungoma Classic Shuttle, said they have ensured all their western and North Rift regional offices have water for washing hands.
Bungoma Chamber of Commerce Chairman John Max Wafula urged residents to comply with the directive of washing hands after every hour.
In Nyeri, Governor Mutahi Kahiga ordered all bars and nightclubs to close by 10pm. Early Childhood Development Centres and Vocational Training Centres were also shut.
“In the event that any person exhibits symptoms associated with the Covid-19, we have provided a standby ambulance for transportation to our quarantine facility,” the governor added.
But in Karatina Market, one of the largest open air markets in the region, it was business as usual. Traders and authorities took no measures like basic hand washing let alone screening of hundreds of customers thronging there.
In Embu, all schools were closed following the presidential directive. And in Kirinyaga, most social places were almost deserted.
In Meru, supermarkets, markets and other public facilities that do not comply with hygiene guidelines will be shut down, County Commissioner Allan Machari announced. He also ordered food vendors out of the streets. In Kisumu, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and director of special programmes Ruth Odinga moved to ensure that residents living in evacuation centres as a result of the swelling of Lake Victoria are protected from the virus.
However, a group of health workers put the county government on the spot over a purported training on coronavirus preparedness. Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Kisumu branch Chairman Vincent Owaa questioned when and where the 200 health workers were trained to handle the virus.
In Siaya, the county government has recalled all its health workers who were on leave. A holding facility at Migori County Referral Hospital had been locked by a contractor.
In Homa Bay and Nyamira, residents have embraced hand washing. In Busia, Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ has prepared a Sh55 million budged to counter the spread of the virus.
In Nakuru, food, sanitisers and hand-wash shelves in major supermarkets were swept clean.
In Laikipia, health workers accused both the county and the national government of failing to equip them with proper gears.
Laikipia Nurses Union of Kenya Secretary Douglas Sagini said health workers had not been sensitised on how to control and handle the virus.
In Mombasa, panic gripped traders at Kongowea market. “I interact with so many people. So what happens if my customer gives me money?” asked Everlyne Muthoni, who sells fruits.
But the market’s superintendent Salim Hamumi said the facility’s management will provide strategic points where buyers and sellers will wash their hands.
Reports by Justus Ochieng’, Gaitano Pessa, Dickens Wasonga, Ian Byron, George Odiwuor and Derrick Luvega, Siago Cece, Farhiya Mohammed, Brian Ocharo, Philip Muyanga, Steve Njuguna, Irene Mugo, David Muchui, George Munene, Nicholas Komu, Stephen Munyiri, Phyllis Musasia, Onyango K’Onyango, Brian Ojamaa, Stanley Kimuge, Dennis Lubanga, Wycliff Kipsang, Barnabas Bii and Tom Matoke
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