•Handwashing stations and automated sanitisers strategically put in place
The Kisumu International Airport is fully prepared for the resumption of operations having put in place stringent measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Western Region Airports manager Selina Gor on Friday said they were ready for operations once President Uhuru Kenyatta opens the airspace.
Gor said they have met all the requirements outlined by the Health ministry to curb virus spread.
“We are focused to ensure those using the airport are safe and free from coronavirus in line with the health standards,” Gor said.
She spoke during a media tour of the facility on the Covid-19 preparedness.
At the airport, several handwashing stations and automated sanitisers are strategically put in place.
The automatic sanitisers are to minimise surface contact. Handwashing stations, she said, are locally made in a way that enables users to limit contact.
“We also have in place enough materials to guide on how to wash your hands and use each of the equipment,” she said.
Before accessing the airport, one has to wear a face mask, wash hands, and undergo mandatory temperature checks.
On the floors, there are social distancing (1.5 metres) marks in every section of the airport. There is also frequent fumigation and sanitisation inside the airport including the luggage section.
At the arrival section, there is a thermal scanner that is able to check the tempratures of at least eight people at any given time as they arrive.
“If there is an anomaly the gadgets will pick it up and record it including the time it was found,” Gor said.
Apart from scanners, there are also hand-held thermal guns that are also used for checking temperatures.
Gor said taxi operators have been directed to have sanitisers and record details of passengers they carry to help in contact tracing in case there is a problem.
They are also required to sanitise and fumigate their vehicles every time they access the airport.
“We are going to work together with the operators and Kenya Airports Authority will support them alongside the Health ministry,” she said.
This, she said, will enable passengers to travel in a safe environment. Gor said the authority has trained fire fighting and rescue teams and medics to respond to any emergency.
There are also two ambulances that are fully equipped for use by the KAA rescue and airport health team.
A three-bed capacity isolation room has also been put up at the old airport to handle any case before referral to hospital.
“In an event that we have an arrival that was not detected at any of the airports the passenger will be taken straightway to the room to avoid contact,” Gor said.
She said they are working together with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital to ensure any case detected is immediately evacuated to an isolation centre.
The hospital is the main isolation centre in Kisumu county.
Gor said they have brought in a new state-of-the-art fire engine worth Sh105 million, one the kind in the region.
“We are very proud of the investment because we will be able to respond to any emergency within this airport-category seven,” Gor said.
The airport now has three fire engines as required. She said there are also breathing apparatus in place to help in emergencies.
“The firefighters' team has to carry oxygen tanks. In the past, we would have to go to Nairobi to refill the tanks which were not very good. The equipment is Kisumu now,” Gor said.
Edited by P.O