PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

Bars closed over coronavirus fear in Murang'a

Said to be some of the high-risk areas that could encourage the spread of the disease.

In Summary
  • Pubs will open when it is clear the pandemic has been controlled.
  • Hotels will continue operating but required to maintain high hygiene standards.
Murang'a County Commissioner Mohamed Barre during the public health stakeholders meeting.
Murang'a County Commissioner Mohamed Barre during the public health stakeholders meeting.
Image: Alice Waithera
Murang'a governor Mwangi wa Iria addressing public health stakeholders outside his offices on Monday.
Murang'a governor Mwangi wa Iria addressing public health stakeholders outside his offices on Monday.
Image: Alice Waithera
The Chief Officer of Health in Murang'a County James Gitau addressing public health stakeholders on Monday. Gitau will lead the county response team.
The Chief Officer of Health in Murang'a County James Gitau addressing public health stakeholders on Monday. Gitau will lead the county response team.
Image: Alice Waithera
Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria
PUBS SHUT: Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria
Image: FILE

All bars in Murang'a have been ordered closed until coronavirus is controlled.

This was announced during a meeting of public health stakeholders. Clubs were said to be some of the high-risk areas that could encourage the spread of the disease.

During the meeting led by Governor Mwangi wa Iria and county commissioner Mohamed Barre on Monday, the stakeholders resolved that clubs will be opened when it was clear the pandemic had been controlled.

 

They said most clubs are congested and the beer glasses used are not sufficiently cleaned, posing a risk.

"If schools have been closed down, why would we allow people to crowd in bars and risk contracting the disease? People will have their drinks at home from now," Wa Iria said.

They said even though bar operators were bound to complain, they had to consider the impact they could have on the spread of the virus.

Hotels, however, will continue to operate but are required to maintain high hygiene standards.

Matatu saccos were ordered to buy sanitisers for passengers and constantly clean their vehicles.

Saccos that fail to adhere to the guidelines, will face punitive action.

An emergency response team to be led by the health chief officer was formed and every government department will be represented.

 
 

Local water companies will ensure all matatu termini are connected to tap water to ensure those using them maintain good hygiene.

With the county government's assistance, the water companies will procure water tanks that will be installed in all major shopping centres together with soap.

"We have established a command centre that will be operational at all times to help in response. Anyone who develops symptoms can call 0800721800 and medics will be dispatched to where they are," Wa Iria said.

Major criminal offences such as robbery with violence, murder or rape will be heard on Thursdays in Murang'a courts while petty ones will be handled by the police.

Visitors will not be allowed into hospitals and prison. Police stations were urged to keep a low number of detainees.

Schools will be required to make arrangements to have students ferried from their premises without loitering in town.

The two madrassa centres in the county have been closed.

The clergy will meet the committee on Tuesday to deliberate on whether churches and mosques will also be closed down.

"But we are saying if St Peter's Basilica in Rome has closed down, why not close down religious centres to avert the spread of the virus?" Barre asked.

Barre said the 4,500 community health workers under the county government will work with village elders and subcounty officials to sensitise residents about the disease and the measures to take without holding barazas.

A team will also be dispatched to coffee and flower farms, especially in Gatanga, to ensure they follow the guidelines.

Parents were asked to contain their children in their homes and minimise their movement, only travelling when it was inevitable. 

"We will work with the ICT Ministry to track down anyone spreading lies through social media and take the necessary legal action," Barre added.

Edited by Henry Makori