BY PETER KOMBE AND MWAKWAYA RAYMOND
The government has started implementing a new operation schedule at the Kenya Ferry Services aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 virus in the region.
The order comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the channel be manned by the police force.
Addressing the media at the Likoni channel on Thursday, Coast Region Coordinator (RC) John Elang’ata urged the public to strictly adhere to the new order in a bid to combat the spread of COVID19 Virus and more so facilitate movement of both people and vehicles.
“Ferry users will only be allowed to board the vessel if they have masks while the hawkers would not be allowed to sell their wares next to the ferries.” Ordered the coordinator.
He administrator observed that only two ferries will operate after 8 am every day asking commuters to ensure social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Elangata noted that public service vehicles plying the Likoni route will not be allowed around the ferry premises so as to avoid congestion at the channel.
The RC wants the public to report any suspected case of corona virus through the following numbers; 0793 390 984 and 0734 881233.
Elang’ata at the same called on the commuters to avoid stigmatization of any person suspected of having contacted COVID-19 virus.
Meanwhile Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa wants the public to cross the channel only if necessary.
“We shall ensure that the president’s directive is implemented. If you have no business at the ferry just stay at home,” Gowa insisted.
The director asked ferry users to maintain the social distance while on board the ferry as directed by government.
At the same time, Kenya Navy Director General Brigadier Vincent Naisho urged Kenyans to adhere to the government directive in order to combat the spread of corona virus.
He reiterated the government commitment in ensuring that ferry users remain safe from the virus.
“As Kenya Navy we shall ensure that Kenyans are safe. We are committed to serving Kenyans till this pandemic is contained,” he noted.
Over 150 officers from different police departments have been deployed to man the Likoni channel.
These include among others; The Kenya Navy, Rapid Deployment Unit and the General Service Unit.