Kisumu County has resolved to use softer methods of involving residents in the fight against Covid-19 in the area.
Through a multi-agency committee, a risk communication campaign has been launched to sensitize the public on the importance of complying with the Covid-19 containment protocols as opposed to arrests for arraignments.
“The members of the public should buy the concepts in order to avoid the congestion in our police cells and courts again creating more fertile grounds for infections,” says Samuel Anampiu, Kisumu County Police Commander.
The multi-agency committee is co-chaired by Kisumu Governor, Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and County Commissioner, Josephine Ouko. The team comprises the National Police Service, national government administration officers, National Intelligence Service (NIS) and county public health officials.
The drive targets people at the open-air markets and conducting regular talks on local radios and other media outlets.
Market management committees have appointed market champions to educate traders on the Covid-19. So far, Kisumu has registered 5,994 cumulative Covid-19 cases after conducting 43,000 tests. Current active cases are 687 with 139 reported deaths since the invasion of the virus in March last year.
Prof. Boaz Otieno Nyunya, Executive Committee Member for Health & Sanitation has revealed that the Public and Private Hospitals in the county have overstretched their capacities due to a surge in confirmed Covid-19 cases.
“We are set to scale up testing after receiving 6,000 rapid testing kits from the Ministry of Health. We have so far vaccinated some 32,587 people against the virus, with 4,635 having received the second round of the vaccines,” disclosed Prof. Nyunya.
As an intervention to help curb the spread of the virus, the County Covid team has closed indefinitely Bar Korwa market in Seme Sub-County for failure to provide sanitary services as required by the Covid-19 containment directive.
In addition, the county plans to revive and gazette two county courts to handle members of the public flouting the Covid-19 protocols.
Law enforcers have also carried out night raids in bars operating beyond curfew hours within the lakeside city and arrested 75 revelers. Some 110 people have been nabbed by police for lacking or wearing facemasks inappropriately.
The County has directed all mortuaries operating in the area to dispose all the bodies in their custody failure to which they will obtain a court order to bury the corpses in a mass grave as unclaimed bodies.
“We have established that the prolonged stay of bodies in the mortuaries leads to abuse of Burial Protocols, eventually making it difficult to control the number of mourners attending such ceremonies” stated a communique from the county.
By Robert Ojwang’