The Mombasa County Covid-19 committee has issued a raft of new measures aimed at hastening the Ministry of Health protocols as it seeks to stem new infections in the wake of the third wave of the pandemic in the Port City.
Among the raft of new recommendations are to have at least 99 per cent of all Ferry pedestrians start using the sh 1.9 Likoni Floating Bridge which was opened for public use on 24th December last year.
”We are perturbed by the low usage of the Floating bridge which was built by the government as a quick measure to stem the spread of the virus across the vital Ferry crossing channel. We are reaching out to both the Ferry operator, Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to come up with urgent mechanism and develop a programme to ensure bridge is used by 99 per cent of Ferry pedestrians,” the committee’s co-chairman, Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Hassan Joho said.
He called for more caution among Mombasa residents not to drop their guards and ensure that they uphold the safety protocols put in place by the Health Ministry in a bid to ensure infections are minimised.
Joho said that Mombasa county had prepared well for the Covid-19 admissions as it has close to 800 beds in its health facilities including 12 ICU beds that currently have 50 per cent occupancy.
Since its official inauguration by President Uhuru Kenyatta in December last year, the 824 metre long floating bridge has continued to receive less number of commuters than it had anticipated
The floating bridge operates between 6.00 am and 8.00 am and from 4.30 pm to 7.00 pm
Locals interviewed over floating bridge usage blame lack of Matatu terminals that are yet to be complete for their failure to utilise the vital installation.
Committee co chair, Mr Gilbert Kitiyo who is also the Mombasa County Commissioner said that the committee has proposed to have the management of the Standard Gauge Railway Madaraka Express and airlines operating out of the Moi International Airport in Mombasa to observe health protocols to stem spread of Covid-19.
”The night travels by both Madaraka Express Passenger train and airlines need to be reviewed since they are affecting the 10pm – 5am night curfew and derailing gains made so far. Social distancing is also a challenge here,” he said.
Other areas that need to be seriously enforced according to Kitiyo are public gatherings which include all forms of religious meetings including mosque and church gatherings where numbers should not exceed 30 per cent of the total capacity.
Kitiyo said that conferencing and workshops that have lately been attracting a huge number of participants should be held online.
He announced that personnel from the public health department will inspect Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and factories in Mombasa to ensure that they too conform with Health protocols.
Kitiyo said that they have heightened surveillance on travellers from Tanzania must possess Covid-19 certificates or risk being taken into quarantine.
”We are reactivating quarantine centres for international travellers and will open them as well as carrying out massive sensitisation campaigns to the public on the dangers of Covid-19,” the administrator said.
On the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the county of Mombasa, Joho decried the low uptake despite the county having received 12000 doses.
Health personnel who had been designated as frontline workers were to get 9000 doses followed by the Kenya Navy personnel who were allocated 3000.
”The uptake is too low. Among the police service so far only 5 have received the jab,” Joho said.
He said that they have so far received inquiries from the general public who want to be injected. We shall have no choice but to bypass those who are yet to come forward,” Joho said.