The Mombasa County government has announced plans to vaccinate at least 3,000 individuals, who work in the tourism and hospitality sector in the region.
The exercise, which was launched Tuesday at Kaderbhouy Health Centre at Makadara grounds within the Mombasa Central Business District (CBD), is being spearheaded by the county departments of Tourism and Health.
Tourism is one of the sectors which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The exercise to vaccinate the hoteliers began last week Thursday, however at a slow pace, before the official launch on Tuesday.
According to tourism stakeholders in the region, the move to vaccinate the hotel sector employees will restore hope and confidence in the industry, which is struggling to stay afloat due the negative impact of Covid-19.
Since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country, more than 4,000 jobs are reported to have been lost within the hotel industry, as many facilities have been forced to scale down operations or to close down their businesses.
Mombasa County Tourism Chief Officer, Aisha Abdi, said that the safety of hotel workers and guests is a priority to the county, as they continue with plans to revive the industry.
She said that they will continue working closely with the stakeholders to revamp the industry, which contributes over 8.8 percent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The Mombasa tourism industry has proven to be resilient and unbowed during this pandemic. We are more than ready to put efforts to ensure that the industry bounces back to life,” said Abdi.
Mombasa County Health Chief Officer Pauline Oginga said that Mombasa had so far recorded 78 positive cases of Covid-19 in three days of the month of May.
Oginga said in the month of April, the County Health Department has been moving round the hotel facilities within Mombasa to inspect them to ensure that they adhere to Ministry of Health protocols on combating Coronavirus.
Speaking shortly after receiving the jab, Calistus Osicho, one of the staff at Voyager Beach Hotel, said that he was happy to have received the vaccine.
He urged other hotel industry workers to come out and take the jab.
“I’m glad I finally received the jab, this will ensure my safety and that of my family. I urge people not to be skeptical about it, but rather find it prudent to get vaccinated,” said Osicho.
Wasike Wasike, Operations Director at Heritage Hotels Group, urged the government to prioritize hotel workers as frontline workers just like doctors and police officers in the fight against the pandemic.
He said tourists will have confidence in Kenya knowing that the hotel workers have been vaccinated against Covid- 19.