BY PETER KOMBE
Civil society organizations in the Coast region have called on the government to immediately suspend all international flights coming to Moi International Airport.
They argue that the move will reduce the risk of exposing locals from the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Mombasa County.
Addressing the media in Mombasa on Wednesday at the Coast Province General Hospital, Coast civil society organizations chairperson Zedekia Adika insisted that the government must emphasize on major entry point including; the airport and the Kenya Ports Authority.
Adika however took issue with some of the major entry points saying they lack proper messages directing the public on how contain the virus.
“Forex bureaus handle large amounts of money. We expect them to provide sanitizers water and soap. Unfortunately, there are none of these items,” the advocate said.
The advocate also took issue with the Matatu sector adding that most of them have not adhered to the government directive.
He further noted that out of the 4 markets that they have visited so far none of them has adhered to the state directive.
“The government must ensure that the public is sensitized on the preventive measures against the disease. Sacco’s and Boda boda should follow the set health standards,” he said.
Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid wants all international flights to Mombasa be diverted to Nairobi.
According to him Nairobi city is more equipped and fully prepared to handle Covid 19 patients.
“We are satisfied with what we have seen at the Coast Province General Hospital. However we would urge that the same should be done in our hospitals at the sub county levels,’ the activist noted.
He also wants the government to ensure that corona patients are treated free of charge citing economic challenges throughout the country.
Khalid further explains that there is need for the government to set a special kitty to fund corona patients as the pandemic continues to bite.
“As activists we have suspended all our programs and have joined hands with both the county and national government health officials to ensure that our community is safe from this pandemic,” Khalid noted.
Meanwhile, Naima Twahir from Shakirina Youth for Development says there is need for the government to sensitize women on the precautionary measures against the pandemic.
She says unlike men women are more susceptible to contract the virus, citing the household duties they undertake in their households.
Said Naima “Let us all join hands so that we can overcome this pandemic. Our women are the mostly affected the mostly affected lot in this.
The human rights defender recommends that the government through the offices of the local women representative and the legislator should empower women economically in a bid to address the plight.
Meanwhile, Alwi Mohammed, a Muslim cleric urged Kenyans to adhere to set health guidelines to contain the vice.
He also wants Kenyans to restrict themselves from visiting densely populated areas as a precautionary measure against the virus.
“It is important for us to take precaution. You cannot visit a crowded place in the name of being a faithful. No religion permits us to do that,” the Muslim cleric said.
He called on the government to control the prices of basic commodities to avoid the business community from exploiting Kenyans.
The CSO’s comprising of rapid response personnel from 12 different organizations had paid a courtesy call at the facility to access the level of preparedness of the county government in case of a corona confirmation.
The activists according to Adika have so far visited 17 health facilities, 10 banks supermarkets and 4 markets across the county.
The ministry of health has so far confirmed a total of 7 cases of Covid-19 patients across the country.