COVID-19 AT THE PORT

KPA introduces a raft of new measures after 7 cases of Covid-19

4 of these cases involve KPA staff while 3 are contracted cleaners working at the Port.

In Summary

• KPA has lost two members of staff to the disease while all those who had contacts with the patients have been identified and are being monitored in quarantine within Mombasa.

• The acting MD said they have appointed a committee of senior managers to plan, manage and coordinate the authority’s preparedness to combat the virus.

Brenda Akinyi weeps at her mother's tomb, the late Ursula Namuonja Buluma at Mbaraki Cemetery in Mombasa County. Her mother succumbed to the coronavirus a few weeks back.
Brenda Akinyi weeps at her mother's tomb, the late Ursula Namuonja Buluma at Mbaraki Cemetery in Mombasa County. Her mother succumbed to the coronavirus a few weeks back.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The Kenya Ports Authority has introduced several new measures after it confirmed seven confirmed cases of the Covid-19.

In a statement on Tuesday, acting MD, Engineer Rashid Salim, said four of these cases involve KPA staff while three are contracted cleaners working at the Port.

Salim said they have appointed a committee of senior managers to plan, manage and coordinate the authority’s preparedness to combat the virus.

This includes the safety of staff and putting measures to combat the virus spread against crew and shipping vessels docking at the port of Mombasa.

Fumigation has been carried out in offices occupied by staff found to be positive or suspected to have contracted the virus.

The authority plans to extend this to cover the entire port.

“Surgical gowns have been acquired for clinical staff and those with close interaction with vessels such as pilots and security officers,” said Salim.

“Unfortunately, we have since lost two members of staff to the disease while all those who had contacts with the patients have been identified and are being monitored in quarantine within Mombasa,” he said.

 
 
 

Ursula Buluma, a staff who worked at the welfare department, and James Anyango, succumbed to the coronavirus days ago.

Currently, all the patients from KPA are admitted at the Coast Provincial General Hospital.

 
 
 

KPA has also set up isolation rooms at the Bandari Clinic where suspected patients are temporarily held waiting for public health officers to pick them up.

“The management has also released staff above 58 years of age and those with pre-medical conditions to work from respective homes in order to avoid crowds at the workplace in line with the government circular,” he noted.

Salim, who took over a few weeks ago, said they have enabled the online cargo documentation processes to facilitate in the clearing of cargo electronically.

“We have so far put up 107 handwashing points with antiseptic soap and placed sanitiser dispensers,” he added.

They have also rolled out detailed procedures including undertaking mandatory pre-arrival report at least 48 hours before vessels arrive within Kenya’s territorial waters.

“All arriving vessels with passengers with recent travel history to countries with confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the past 14 days must undergo special monitoring and Port Health must issue restricted pratique,” he said.

In the regulations, every ship entering Kenya from a country with confirmed cases of Covid-19 is subjected to rigorous inspection in the designated location as directed by the Harbour Master.

“Crew or passengers of vessels from confirmed Covid-19 countries will not be granted shore passes. Only Kenyans and foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to disembark after the presentation of Health Declaration forms and by the health authorities,” said Salim.

It is also a requirement that Masters of all ships due to arrive in a Kenyan port declare their last 10 ports of call or voyage memo for the last three months.

“Ship crew change is temporarily suspended until further notice. The exception is given to Kenyan crew and persons with valid resident permits,” said Salim.

The garbage from vessels arriving from confirmed Covid-19 countries will no longer be allowed to be discharged at any Kenyan Port.


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