PREVENTION MEASURES

Governors close morgues, want MTRH to test COVID-19

Burials should take place within 24 hours after death

In Summary

• They have recalled all North Rift doctors from study leave to increase the technical capacity.

• All open air markets in the region will be closed and matatu operators have to keep an inventory of all passengers, complete with their contacts.

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, Uasin GIshu Governor Jackson Mandago and Moi Referral Hospital CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa on March 18, 2020
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, Uasin GIshu Governor Jackson Mandago and Moi Referral Hospital CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa on March 18, 2020
Image: /MATHEWS NDANYI

Eight governors in the North Rift have ordered the closure of mortuaries and ordered that burials take place within 24 hours after death.

Also, no more than 50 people will be allowed to attend a funeral. They have recalled all North Rift doctors from study leave to increase the technical capacity and want the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital certified as a coronavirus testing centre.

All open-air markets in the region will be closed and matatu operators have to keep an inventory of all passengers, complete with their contacts.

 

These are some of the measures the county chiefs from the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) have taken to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The governors met in Eldoret to assess MTRH's preparedness to handle coronavirus cases.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who is chairman of NOREB, said the move to close morgues in the region had been taken in consultation with medical personnel dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

“The measures will be in place until the situation is reviewed again after one month,” Mandago said.

Chiefs and county administrators are enforcing the new measures.

Mandago said they want the government to certify MTRH a coronavirus testing centre. This, he said, will reduce the time taken to deliver samples to Nairobi.

“By making MTRH a testing centre, it will enable us get the tests quickly and should the situation worsen, then even internal flights will be cancelled hence the need to have the testing centre in Eldoret,” Mandago said.

 

The meeting was attended by Governors Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia, John Lonyangapuo of West Pokot, Stanley Kiptis of Baringo, Egeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Wisley Kiptoo and representatives from the other counties.

Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa and Moi Referral Hospital CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa were present.

During the meeting, it was announced that isolation units had been set up across the region with a total of 290 beds. 

Lonyangapuo urged Kenyans to desist from spreading rumours and misinformation about coronavirus. 

The government has scaled down operations at Huduma Centres in Rift Valley to avoid overcrowding.

The centres will only allow in those collecting IDs and birth certificates. All other services will be offered online. The scale down of services will last until the government reviews the coronavirus situation in the country.

Matatu operators in Eldoret, Kitale and Kapsabet among other areas in the North Rift have been instructed to keep an inventory of all passengers they carry, including phone contacts.  

Jaldesa says the inventory will help to trace passengers should any of them suffer from coronavirus infection.

Boda boda operators have also been banned from carrying more than one passenger.

Edited by A. Ndung'u