SH10BN LOSSES IN FOUR MONTHS

Noreb to align Covid-19 measures with economic revival plans

North Rift governors to meet next week.

In Summary

• The eight Noreb counties have so far recorded more than 300 positive cases, with Uasin Gishu leading after reporting more than 256 cases.

• The reviewed measures will also strengthen the move by the government to place the responsibility of prevention on Kenyans.

Uasin Gishu officials distributing PPEs to county wards on July 29, 2020.
MEASURES: Uasin Gishu officials distributing PPEs to county wards on July 29, 2020.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

North Rift governors will review and strengthen Covid-19 control protocols next week to suit the region's economic revival plans.

Governor Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, who chairs the North Rift Economic Bloc (Noreb), on Wednesday said they plan to put in place measures that will be aligned with specific economic sectors.

The reviewed measures will also strengthen the move by the government to place the responsibility of prevention on Kenyans.

 
 

“We will ensure farmers have control measures that suit the sector, same as those in business or those in the matatu sector,” Mandago said.

He spoke while distributing personal protective equipment to county wards. Frontline health workers are given the necessary protective gear and support as they battle Covid-19. Mandago commended them for a sterling job in dealing with Covid-19.

The eight Noreb counties have so far recorded more than 300 cases, with Uasin Gishu leading after reporting more than 256 cases.

“We have so far recorded 88 recoveries in our county because of the good work being done by health staff,” Mandago said.

Last week, the governors had asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to revert to the initial tough containment measures to stop the spike in infection, a situation they said risked overrunning the health sector.

The virus has been spreading within communities and there have been widespread concerns over the possible explosion.

Save for domestic travel, the county chiefs wanted Uhuru to order a shutdown of all hotels and bars, suspension of all meetings, return to longer curfew hours and strict enforcement of other measures, including masking and handwashing.

 
 

Their prayers were, however, not met. The president retained the current curfew hours and did not shut down hotels.

“Generally, it has been noted that the public has relaxed on adherence to Covid-19 containment measures and as a result infection is on the increase so fast.  The government must revert to initial containment measures," the county chiefs said in a joint statement.

They complained that the matatu sector and many other Kenyans were openly and recklessly defying the containment measures, hence increasing the risk of transmission.

The governors last week held a virtual meeting on the Covid-19 situation. They are scheduled to meet again next week amid the rising cases.

Two Noreb counties — Samburu and West Pokot — are the only ones in the country yet to register any case.

The region estimates that it has lost more than Sh10 billion in uncollected revenues, charges and taxes along with collapsed projects to the infection in the past four months. Hence, the governors have suggested tougher measures, including cessation of movement into and out of areas identified as hotspots within the counties.

They recommended targeted containment interventions specific to counties, regions, estates or villages. “This is, for example, locking down hotspot estates like Langas in Uasin Gishu county,” Mandago said.

They have also come up with proposals on how they will involve politicians in raising awareness. The governors argue that the politicians have the capacity to mobilise their supporters to the prevention cause.

Mandago added that they are working on necessary protocols to strengthen home-based care, which is targetted at asymptomatic patients. They have, however, emphasised the need for compliance with requirements or provision of adequate necessities for the system to work effectively.

 

Edited by F'Orieny