Precautions have been put in place to prevent people around the coastal region and other lake regions in the country since ship and boats as a means of conveyance present the possibility to import or transmit Coronavirus.
Addressing the media at Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa on Friday, Maritime and Shipping Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu said the Multi-agency Committee on Covid-19 at the port put guidelines including pre-arrival reporting and document exchange including health declaration in accordance with the International Health Regulations as issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Amongst other measures, the PS said pre-arrival risk categorization, arrival crew health screening and health monitoring while in port will be mandatory to keep the disease at bay in the country.
PS Karigithu added that due to travel restrictions, sea fearers will have shore leave since many of them are unable to sign off due to the restrictions.
She noted that crew change, control of board teams and protection of port workers and all coming into contact with the ship crew will be observed.
She assured assistance to crew members exhibiting corona symptoms and the Likoni Ferry users.
The PS, however, regretted the inconvenience the exercise will cause the industry saying they are necessary in view of the times the country is in and the risk presented by allowing ships or crew that have been to the severely affected countries.
“We urge all industry players including those at other coastal and inland water ports to follow the precautions as prescribed by our health officials, both at work and at other places in which we are at risk of infection,” said Karigithu.
She advised boat owners to reduce the number of passengers, provide sanitizers and verify if tourists have been in isolation for at least 14 after arrival into the country.
The PS discouraged unnecessary use of boats for those living near the waters and report suspicious movements in the waters to the authorities.
The media was especially advised to target the boat and fishing community in their COVID-19 campaign messages.
Kenya Maritime Authority will however not conduct vessel inspections until the situation clears in order not to congregate people as advised by the national committee.
She urged local administration and public health workers to continue educating the communities on the means to prevent contracting or spreading the Coronavirus.
PS Karigithu called on anyone who feels unwell to immediately check into a health facility while taking all precautions by wearing a mask and practising cough and sneeze hygiene.
At the same time, the Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata urged coast residents to follow guidelines and precautions laid against contracting the virus.
The RC urged people to avoid social gatherings and maintain social distance.