HIGH RISK AREAS

Kenya-Uganda officials discuss coronavirus border strategies

West Pokot has a 200km border with Uganda

In Summary
  • More high-level meetings with Ugandan officials this week
  • Counties along the border including Busia, Bungoma and Turkana expected to take stern measures
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo with his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang at a meeting to discuss coronavirus in Eldoret on March 20
JOINT ACTION: West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo with his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang at a meeting to discuss coronavirus in Eldoret on March 20
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Officials from Kenya and Uganda held meetings in West Pokot to map out strategies to control possible spread of coronavirus across the border.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said his county has a 200km border with Uganda and they will set up screening at border posts.

The county boss said they will also deploy surveillance teams in remote areas near the border.

 

“We met with health and administration officials from the area near the border and we have agreed that we need to control cross-border activities so that we can stop spread of the coronavirus,” Lonyangapuo said.

He said they will hold more high-level meetings with Ugandan officials this week.

Uganda has reported its first case of coronavirus and President Yoweri Museveni had already taken measures to shut down schools and scale down most activities to stop its spread.

“We will set up screening areas along the borders even if it’s in bushy areas to stop this disease from spreading,” Lonyangapuo said.

Counties along the border including Busia, Bungoma and Turkana were expected to take the same measures with the neighbouring regions.

At the same time mosques in Eldoret and other parts of the North Rift were yet to shut down despite a directive to do so by the Council of Muslim Imams and Preachers.

Muslim youth in Eldoet protested against those defying government directives to suspend congregations in all worship areas.

The chairman of imams and preaches in the region Abubakar Bini said they had issued fresh directives on closure of all mosques until further notice.

 

“Our mosques are used by people from all over including travelers like long distance drivers who go across borders and that is why we said they are high risk areas that should be shut down for the time being,” Bini said.

Counties in the North Rift have joined efforts to enforce tough measures that will help control spread of the coronavirus in the country.

All health officials on leave have been recalled and public awareness campaigns intensified.

Governor Jackson Mandago who is chairman of the North Rift Economic Block (Noreb) said the medics should report back on duty this week.

Edited by Henry Makori