BREAKING CORONAVIRUS CHAIN

Wa Iria bans PSV transport in and out of Murang'a

Says it is wrong to expect visitors to willingly self-quarantine and government should isolate those traveling into the country

In Summary

• He said controlling the movement of people is the only way to stop the virus from spreading.

• In the last three days, five people have travelled into the county from abroad and interacted with their families

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria in Murang'a town on Monday
COVID-19 Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria in Murang'a town on Monday
Image: /Alice Waithera

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has banned public transport in and out of the county.

However, public service vehicles that facilitate transport within the county will be allowed to continue operating.

 

Wa Iria said coronavirus spreads through the movement of people.

 
 

The governor said the county had been striving to fumigate and supply detergents and soaps to all public places but that the efforts were being hampered by the free movement of people.

Wa Iria said even though the government had reduced the number of passengers traveling in matatus, the measure is not enough to curb infections through public transport vehicles.

"We cannot be fumigating our stages every day and then allow people to move in and out," he said.

He said his officers would be deployed to all termini and those wishing to travel will have to explain their reasons.

If it is for medical reasons, the county government will liaise with the health facilities involved to facilitate transportation.

"Those with medical conditions that can be treated locally, such as dialysis, will be treated in local health facilities," he said.

 

He said each of the seven subcounties has at least one main terminus where people are ferried in and out of the county.

 
 

"I will enforce the ban because I asked people to stop moving from one county to another but they did not listen. The government has stopped international flights and our termini are our airports," he said.

Wa Iria noted that people from countries battling the virus were still arriving in the county.

He said in the last three days, five people had travelled into the county from abroad and interacted with their families. This has resulted in the quarantine of 29 people who have come into contact with the five.

He said the county security team was looking for someone who arrived from Italy on Monday morning.

Recently, a family in Ndakaini, Gatanga, organised a small party for a relative who arrived from Qatar.

Such people, he said, should be prosecuted if the country is to stem the spread of the virus.

In Maragua, a woman and a child traveled from Dubai to her family in Maragua Ridge and were seen interacting with people at the shopping centre.

Another man was said to have travelled from the US to his family in Makuyu.

The county police commander has asked residents to call the toll free number 0800721800 to report any visitors from abroad who fail to self-quarantine.

But Wa Iria said it was wrong to expect visitors to willingly self-quarantine. He said the government should strengthen the structures put in place at JKIA.

"The government should force all visitors to quarantine in a government facility until the 14 days are over," he said.

He said many of them pass through supermarkets then take taxis to their rural homes where they spread the virus if they are infected.

The governor said vendors in markets will have to have detergents and water.

The county has provided free water in all markets.

He said the markets will not be closed because they are the source of food for residents.

"But if the markets become a challenge, we will close them," he said.

Edited by A. Ndung'u