Crackdown on flouters of Covid-19 rules intensified

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Police officers assist a handcart puller to lift his handcart minutes after the 7pm curfew at the Kisumu Boys roundabout. The man slid as he rushed to beat the deadline. Photo/PD/Viola Kosome

Authorities in the Lake region have intensified crackdown on those flouting Covid-19 protocols amid concerns over a spike in recent days. 

Government officials in various counties are keen to reinforce the health guidelines and State directives seeking to combat spread of the deadly virus after a number of the affected counties registered a surge in infections, especially in the month of June.

Move came on the day 287 people tested positive for the virus bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 182,884.

According to Ministry of Health records, counties in the lake region recorded high numbers with Kisii having 35 cases, Siaya (17), Kakamega (13), Bungoma (11), Busia (nine), Vihiga (four) and Migori (two).

“Today 287 people have tested positive for the disease from a sample size of 2,699 in the last 24 hours.

The positivity rate is no 10.6 per cent,” reads a statement from Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.        

Major roads       

In Kakamega, markets were deserted as security officers enforced an order by the county government to shut them down.

To ensure compliance, police yesterday mounted roadblocks on major roads, which saw hundreds of motorists and passengers arrested for violating the health protocols. 

Most of those arrested were immediately arraigned in courts where they were fined between Sh3,000 and Sh5, 000 or an alternative of serving three weeks in jail.

Health Executive Collins Matemba revealed that 29 people had so far succumbed to the virus this month alone. 

Matemba said there were 18 Corona patients at the  Kakamega County Referral Hospital alone.

“Three of the 18 patients  are in the Intensive Care Unit,” Dr Matemba said. However, mass testing continued at Mumbetsa village in Ikolomani, which has recorded the highest number of cases from the daily reports by the Health ministry. 

“We had a very hectic time on Sunday when hundreds of traders and consumers turned up at Khayega market yet we had announced that it was shut. We, however contained the situation,” said Khayega chief Gerald Murunga.

In Kisii, County Police Commander Francis Kooli appealed to residents to wear masks and observe other Covid 19 protocols to curb the spread of the disease.  

“The small team of the officers works twice a week and residents are now complying since they have known that they are being monitored,” Kooli said yesterday.

Officer further revealed that he had impounded 29 vehicles that flouted the curfew rules. He warned that the crackdown will continue until they comply.

Similarly, Kooli challenged church leaders to embrace online services.

Director of Public Health Dr Richard Onkware said 1,450 Covid patients had been discharged from across the county, noting that 6,251 contacts had been traced in the last 24 hours.

Total compliance

In Homa Bay, County Commissioner Moses Lilan reiterated that a crackdown to ensure total compliance with MoH Covid-19 protocols is still on course.

Lilan said several people had been arrested across the county and charged for violating the Covid rules.

Report from county department of Health indicates that there were a total of 1,122 cases as at June 23 from 6,520 cumulative tests.

And in Kisumu, Covid-19 emergency team, led by County commissioner Josephine Ouko rolled out a sensitisation drive on Friday meant to ensure residents adhere to the Covid containment protocols. - Reporting by Noven Owiti, Dennis Lumiti and Robert Ochoro

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