By Prof Boaz Otieno Nyunya,
Executive Committee Member for Health & Sanitation, Kisumu County.
10th June, 2021
We wish to assure the people of Kisumu and other stakeholders of our resolve to battle this wild and merciless pandemic that has continued to ravage the world amid rising deaths and grave devastation to the global economies, including Kenya.
Last Monday, a County Covid-19 multi-Agency meeting co-chaired by Kisumu Governor, Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and County Commissioner, Josephine Ouko, made sweeping and important containment measures aimed at disrupting the spread of the virus.
In view of this, we wish to give the following important updates:
1. Kisumu has so far registered 5,994 accumulative Covid-19 cases, From 43,000 tests. We have a weekly positivity rate of 28.4 Per cent. The County has cumulatively reported 139 deaths since the invasion of the virus in March last year, reflecting a case fatality rate of 2.4%.
2. We have 687 Active cases. Out of this, 112 are in hospitals. Kisumu Central remains the biggest epicenter of the disease followed by Kisumu East and Kisumu West sub counties. No sub county is spared.
3. Our Public and Private Hospitals have overtstretched their capacities as more cases emerge.
4. We are set to scale up Testing after receiving 6,000 Rapid testing kits from the Ministry of Health headquarters.
5. We have so far vaccinated some 32, 587 people against the virus, with 4,635 having received the second round of the vaccines by the end of last week.
To help stem the spread of the virus, the Kisumu County Multi-Agency team are enforcing the following measures:
1. On Wednesday, Police arrested 19 Public Service Vehicles flouting the Covid-19 protocols. The Crackdown is continuing on the roads and we expect more arrests.
Matatu Saccos whose fleet continue to flout the safety rules will eventually be deregistered. Passengers failing to adhere to the Protocols will also face the punitive actions.
2. Law enforcers raided several Bars in Kisumu town on Wednesday night and arrested 16 people. They were due in court today. Proprietors of the affected bars which were found selling drinks after the 7PM closure deadline, will have their licenses cancelled in the coming days.
3. Some 110 people were also arrested for failing to wear their face masks. They have already been arraigned in courts.
4. We have given a 48-hour notice to all the Mortuaries operating in the county to disposes of all the bodies in their custody, failure to which we will move to court to have them removed and buried in mass graves as unclaimed bodies.
5. Mortuaries failing to obey the directive will also have their licenses cancelled.
6. We have established that the prolonged stay of bodies in the mortuaries leads to abuse of Burial Protocols, eventually making it difficult to control the number of mourners attending such ceremonies.
As stated earlier, bodies must be released from the mortuaries by 10 am, within 48 hours of the death and must be buried the same day.
7. We have established that there are 212 bodies still being kept at various private and public morgues across the county. All these will be declared as Unclaimed bodies if not released to relatives within the stipulated time.
8. Mortuaries are under instructions NOT to accept bodies brought in from outside their premises, except for Police cases. They must also file daily reports on the new bodies and related details.
9. The Multi-Agency teams backed by police officers, chiefs, sub county administrators and enforcement officers will carry out fresh crackdowns to ensure Burial ceremonies are conducted according to the Covid-19 Protocols.
10. All LIVESTOCK auction markets across the County have been suspended indefinitely and the multi-Agency teams will ensure this is enforced.
11. Additionally, Bar Korwa open air market in Seme sub county has been closed indefinitely for failure to provide sanitary services as required by the Covid-19 Protocols. More Markets are in the radar.
12. At least TWO COUNTY COURTS will be revived and gazetted in the next few days to help handle members of the public found flouting the Covid-19 protocols like failing to properly wear the masks.
13. Management committees of Markets have been instructed to ensure there is water and sanitizers at the entrances of all the markets. The management committee members are also required to appoint Market champions to educate the traders on the Covid-19 protocols.
14. Churches, Mosques, Temples and other places of worship will be closely monitored to ensure they adhere to the Protocols, failure to which they will be ordered to suspend their services. These worship places must only admit a THIRD of their normal capacity.
15. The Multi-Agency Team will keep close watch on schools and colleges to ensure the safety of the learners.
16. Risk Communication will continue with regular talks on radio and other media outlets.
17. Other guidelines earlier issued by the County Covid-19 Multi-Agency Committee remain in place.
- We wish to appeal to our people to take lead in the fight against Covid-19.
- Let’s obey the laid down protocols. Let’s keep social distance and avoid crowded places.
- Let’s seek medical attention at the slightest suspicion of ill health.
- Let us use the masks in the right manner and consistently.
- Wash our hands and sanitize regularly. Don’t board overloaded matatus, Tuk Tuks and Boda Bodas.
- Let us avoid unnecessary or non-essential travels. Let us limit burial ceremonies to the immediate family.
- Let us worship at home.