Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru has purchased hand-washing jerricans worth Sh50 million in an effort to curb the COVID-19 spread in her county.
The embattled governor who survived an impeachment a fortnight ago while addressing the reporters said that the washing points will be distributed across the County to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that has affected 184 Kenyans.
“These jerricans will be distributed to households and businesses across Kirinyaga and everyone must ensure that they wash their hands properly. We are in partnership with the National government to get more sanitizers that will be put at strategic places within the county,” she said.
She also warned residents selling fake sanitizers, “Though hand sanitizers can help reduce our risk of catching certain infections, not all hand sanitizers are equally effective against coronavirus. We have noted with a lot of concerns those selling fake products.”
Kisumu County Response
Kisumu County officials on Monday embarked on the crackdown against those violating tough measures that have been spelt out to contain the spread of COVID-19.
This is after tough-talking Kisumu County Commissioner (CC), Susan Waweru and Kisumu Governor, Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o raised concern that a number of residents have failed to heed directives issued by the government, hence the need to forcibly enforce the regulations.
“We are starting right away to decongest the Kisumu bus station and Kibuye open-air market and I can assure you it will not be business as usual,” warned Waweru.
In tough measures read by Governor Nyong’o, following a meeting of the Multi-Agency Committee, all funeral homes and mortuaries, both public and private have been closed with immediate effect.
“Hospitals mortuaries will only be used to keep bodies of inpatient cases, but strictly for less than 48 hours in order to allow for families to make burial arrangements. All burials will strictly be for family members who must not exceed 15,” he said.
Lamu County Response
The Lamu County government has set aside Sh10 million contingency fund to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the county.
Lamu Governor Fahim Yassin Twaha revealed that the county government was also working closely with the County Assembly to pass a supplementary budget that will factor how to cushion Lamu residents against the aftershocks of the COVID-19 crisis that has affected commerce and trade sectors within the economy.
“We would also like to urge the County Assembly to reallocate some monies from their allocation to aid the county to implement preventive measures that would prevent any spread of COVID-19 in Lamu. The county government in conjunction with the national government is implementing the Ministry of Health guidelines over how to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus within the county,” Twaha said.
On Sunday, Chief Justice David Maraga ordered courts across the country to operate with a lean staff of three, comprising a court administrator, a court assistant, and a judge or magistrate.
The rest of the judicial staff are expected to work from home. Members of the public, except those filing urgent matters, were also banned from accessing court premises.
At Nairobi’s Milimani law court, some magistrates opted to hear cases in the open as a measure to keep infection at bay.
Most county governments have also suspended non-essential services and allowed their staff to work remotely. Counties such as Vihiga, Migori, Kisumu, and Kakamega have closed mortuaries and ordered collection of bodies for immediate burial.
Public gatherings, entertainment joints, and night clubs have all been banned. Church after church has suspended their services and asked their congregants to worship from home.
Religious rituals such as the sacrament have also been withdrawn. While public holidays and political stalemates have often ground activities to a halt, this is the first time a pandemic has caused a shutdown of this magnitude in Kenya.
VIRUS STOPS REGGAE
The presence of coronavirus cases effectively stopped the Building Bridges Initiative (Reggae) rallies, which had raised political temperatures.
Mr Kagwe, while announcing the first case, banned all forms of public gatherings as part of the measures to contain the virus.
“All public gatherings, rallies, crusades and meetings of national nature have all been banned. This includes BBI rallies. interschool activities like drama, music festivals, and sports have also been banned,” he said.
The country, and particularly Nairobi, could be staring at even tougher times ahead, should the government effect a total lockdown.
“(A) total lockdown is always on the table, depending on how we see the progress, on how we monitor the situation. At the point that we think that the danger is enhanced, then the committee will debate and take the necessary steps,’’ CS Kagwe said on Tuesday.