Residents of Turkana have been urged to observe safety and hygiene measures to safeguard against the novel corona virus infection.

In a press briefing today at the County Government offices, the Governor called for strict observance of guidance on social distancing, handwashing and respiratory hygiene. He decried the lack of discipline in following the directives especially among residents of urban centres.

The Governor also announced a raft of measures by the County Government to fight spread of the disease.

He said the County Emergency Response Committee (CERC) which is chaired by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro will spearhead corona virus preparedness, prevention and response.

He added that screening points had been set up at entry and strategic areas while sub county teams with inclusion of County Health volunteers have begun community sensitization across the county.

Governor Nanok debunked the myth that the corona virus could not survive in warm temperatures and advised residents not to have a false sense of safety.

On businesses hiking prices of commodities, the Governor has warned those found guilty of taking advantage of the pandemic to increase prices of goods will have their business permits revoked.

He revealed that Governors in North Rift were in discussions to keep open supply chain of important commodities including food stuff to cushion consumers.

He said the County Government had begun supplying water to areas without water connection and to enable handwashing and other usage.

He said the County was planning this week to have non-essential staff go on leave to reduce overcrowding in government offices but ensure essenitial services were still available to the public.

On procurement of special equipment, the Governor said it was up to the government to supply equipment that the County Government cannot procure through KEMSA. He stated that construction of the ICU wing at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital will be fastracked to be ready in the event infections are reported.

He said the county had in store four-month stock of medicine and had ordered for the supply of another six-month stock.

The County boss termed the campaign against Corona virus as war against an unseen enemy and cautioned that with the virus overwhelming global superpowers such as the US, Kenyans needed to take heed of guidance issued.

DG Lotethiro announced that so far no case of COVID-19 infection has been reported and called for residents to stay home and avoid unnecessary movement which could put them at risk. He revealed that screening points set by the County Government were in Kainuk, Lokichar and Turkana University cess points, LCRH, Lodwar and Kakuma Airstrip, Lokichoggio Airport, Lodwar GK Prison among others.

County Commissioner Wambua Muthama said security officers will enforce directives by the government prohibiting openining of hotels and bars and other social gathering.

County Health and Sanitation Executive Jane Ajele announced that a Quarantine centre had been established at KMTC Lodwar and warned those who had recently returned from trips abroad and contravened directives to self-quarantine, will be forcefully quarantined at the facility.

By Governor’s Press Service