A Regional COVID-19 Command Center linking all the 14 counties of Rift Valley region has been unveiled in Nakuru.
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said operations of the command center will be overseen by officers drawn from relevant national and county governments’ departments including security, administration, public health and social services.
The Command center will deploy state of the art technology in various forms to deal with the pandemic. It will be used to track and keep a database of individuals who flout regulations spelt out by the government to contain spread of corona virus, including dusk to dawn curfew ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Senior Administrative Officer Rosemary Warima further warned that details of individuals who engage in activities banned by the government to contain spread of the virus will also be captured at the command center.
She put on notice those who drink alcoholic beverages and motorcyclists and motorists who defy the social distancing rule that their records will be maintained at the command center to aid in prosecutions before law courts.
All the 14 County Commissioners have been directed to furnish the facility located at Mr. Natembeya’s offices with real time updates on Covid-19 in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Each County will be required to get detailed reports from every village on the status of the population, details of persons who have arrived from other areas and any individual exhibiting symptoms of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
Mr. Natembeya said County Commissioners will work jointly with all the departments offering essential services in the region in monitoring the Covid-19 situation on the ground. He said the region had recorded one positive corona virus case in Kajiado and two cases in Nakuru.
The 24 hour operational command center will operate in two shifts from 6AM to 6PM and a second shift from 6PM to 6AM.
It is also mandated to keep track of those who test positive, those who are supposed to be quarantined in hospital for treatment and the history of the people they may have come into contact with.
This, Mr. Natembeya noted, will form the next target list of suspects that need to be traced and tested.
The command center will also keenly follow self-quarantine of persons who are known to have traveled and pursue those asked to quarantine themselves but they did not.
It is also tasked with coordinating the delivery of strategic, technical and operational support through existing mechanisms and partnerships across the country.
“Recognizing the respective roles and responsibilities of the various ministries and departments of the government, the team will work closely with all stakeholders in mobilizing resources to support and monitor the implementation of activities meant to tackle the current coronavirus outbreak.
Such information will greatly aid in different policy scenarios such as partial lockdown, increased testing and effective quarantine,” Natembeya said.
The Regional Commissioner said officers on leave had been recalled to ensure effective enforcement.
“The role of the police is law enforcement. Our officers have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the safety regulations. We will do that to the letter,” he said.
The administrator said the disease is serious and urged Kenyans to comply with guidelines to safeguard live.
He warned public service vehicles operators who defy the directives given on social distancing that they will have their licenses revoked.
“We are taking this thing very seriously but some of you are holding us back. We will revoke those licenses and this is not a joke,” he said.
Rift Valley becomes the first region to establish such a centre after the national government on Thursday established Operation Kinga Corona, a National Multi-Agency Command Centre in Embakasi.
The Operation Kinga Corona is headed by Major General Ayub Matiiri. It is intended to contain and manage the effects of corona virus. It will also restore normalcy in the country after Covid-19 epidemic.
Matiiri said the team has representatives from government ministries, departments and agencies as well as crucial humanitarian service providers.
“Established through a recommendation by the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) on March 25, 2020, the National Multi Agency Command Centre has been mandated on the basis of priorities established by the government to immediately develop strategic preparedness and response involving all key players in the government,” he said.