Wananchi call for mass testing and reduced transport cost

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The lifting of the lockdown slapped on Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties over the outbreak of Covid-19 has elicited diverse reactions from wananchi in Marsabit County.

Some of the residents, whose second main occupation from livestock keeping is trade welcomed the move saying they would be able to replenish depleted stocks for their businesses.

However, they cited transport cost as a major hindrance to resumption of the lines of work and expressed hope that operators especially in the matatu industry would consider reducing charges which had almost doubled.

Marsabit chapter of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry(KCCI) chairperson Jack Elisha said wananchi should approach the new development with a lot of caution to avoid spurring the pandemic.

Mr Elisha told KNA on the telephone on Monday that safety measures in place must be maintained, adding that those charged with the responsibility of ensuring conformity to protocols and guidelines from the ministry of health should act more diligently.

He appealed to Kenyans to be self-regulating instead of looking upon state agencies to push them to adhere to the set out guidelines all the time.

“I would especially stress on the need to observe social distancing and putting on face masks at all times when in a public place,” he said.

Marsabit Women Advocacy and Development Organization (MWADO), Ms Nuria Gollo lauded the president’s order for action against perpetrators of gender based violence and teenage pregnancies.

Ms Nuria said teenage pregnancies was a big problem in Marsabit County with over 300 cases having been reported since the beginning of the year.

She pointed out that the cases were much higher because most incidents go unreported owing to ignorance and adherence to early marriage practices among local communities.

Ms Nuria petitioned the local county commissioner to hold chiefs accountable for abetting the crime, saying the future of many underage girls has been ruined.

She also expressed her reservations regarding the lifting of the travel ban to and from Nairobi City, Mandera and Mombasa counties fearing that Kenyans might disobey the conditions put in place to contain the coronavirus.   

Ms Nuria also pointed out that mass testing for the virus was yet to be carried out in the country, meaning that there could be many infected people out with the potential of spreading it even to rural areas.

She said counties were ill prepared to handle a surge of infections because they lacked testing and management equipment for the disease.