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Region unveils centralised Covid-19 centre

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Region unveils centralised Covid-19 centre by Saocv(1): Thu 16, April, 2020 11:18pm
The regional command centre will link 14 counties in the Rift Valley

By Anne Mwale/KNA

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said operations of the facility situated in Nakuru will be overseen by officers drawn from relevant national and county government departments including security, administration, public health and social services.

The centre will be used to track and keep a database of individuals who flout regulations spelt out by the government to contain spread of Coronavirus, including dusk to dawn curfew ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Senior administrative officer Rosemary Warima said the records will aid in prosecutions.

All the 14 County Commissioners in the region have been directed to furnish the facility located at Natembeya’s offices with real-time updates on Covid-19 in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Each county will be required to get detailed reports from every village on the status of the population, details of persons who have arrived from other areas and any individual exhibiting symptoms of the Covid-19 disease.

Natembeya said County Commissioners will work jointly with all the departments offering essential services in the region in monitoring the Covid-19 situation on the ground. He said the region’s three recorded positive Coronavirus cases are in Kajiado (one) and two cases in Nakuru.

The command centre will operate round the clock in two shifts from 6AM to 6PM and a second shift from 6PM to 6AM.

It is also mandated to keep track of those who test positive, those who are supposed to be quarantined in hospital for treatment and the history of the people they may have come into contact with.

“This will form the next target list of suspects that need to be traced and tested,” Natembeya said.

The facility will also coordinate delivery of strategic, technical and operational support through existing mechanisms and partnerships across the country.

“The team will work closely with all stakeholders in mobilising resources to support and monitor the implementation of activities meant to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak. Such information will greatly aid in different policy scenarios such as partial lockdown, increased testing and effective quarantine," he added.

At the same time, the county boss said officers on leave had been recalled to ensure effective enforcement.

“The role of the police is law enforcement. Our officers have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the safety regulations. We will do that to the letter,” he said.

The administrator said the disease is serious warned public service vehicle operators who defy the directives given on social distancing that they will have their licenses revoked.

“We are taking this thing very seriously but some of you are holding us back. We will revoke those licenses and this is not a joke,” he said.

Rift Valley becomes the first region to establish such a centre after the national government on Thursday established Operation Kinga Corona, a National Multi-Agency Command Centre in Embakasi.

The national centre is headed by Major General Ayub Matiiri. It is intended to contain and manage the effects of the pandemic and restore normalcy in the country thereafter.

Matiiri said the team has representatives from government ministries, departments and agencies as well as crucial humanitarian service providers.

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