The government has issued a stern warning to traders in Marsabit County against any attempt to hoard essential goods in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Marsabit County Commissioner Evans Achoki also announced enhanced enforcement of the Public Health Act in a bid to improve on hygiene and sanitation as an effective way of fighting the spread of the deadly virus.
Mr Achoki who led the county emergency preparedness and response team in sensitizing public transport operators and residents of Marsabit town on preventive measures against the coronavirus said punitive legal action would be taken against unscrupulous traders.
The county commissioner who had earlier held a press briefing on details regarding the raft measures the government and stakeholders have instituted in the war against the virus said traders who will hoard goods and food stuffs in order to cash in on the health crisis would be arrested and prosecuted.
“We are not going to allow unscrupulous traders to create artificial shortages of essential goods and foodstuffs like sanitizers, sugar and flour for selfish gain,” said Mr Achoki.
He said that law enforcement agents were on the lookout for possibilities of certain traders driven by greed to take advantage of the health crisis facing the country for selfish gain.
Mr Achoki was accompanied by CEC member for Health Dr Jama Wolde declared a ban on hawking of food stuffs in Marsabit town and other urban centers across the county while public service vehicles were expected to maintain high sanitary standards.
While urging members of the public to regularly wash their hands with soap and water, the county commissioner reminded them that shunning of handshake greetings was no longer an option.
Mr Achoki directed that SACCOs at all matatu termini operating in the county must provide water and soap for travelers to clean their hands and sanitizers for use during the journey.
Pointing out that some PSV vehicles had been found to be dirty and infested with bedbugs, the county commissioner said crews should ensure cleaning and disinfecting of the vehicles after everyday operation.
Dr Wolde said that public health officials would assist in ensuring that public service vehicles meet acceptable sanitary standards with those falling short of the requirement removed from the road.
The CEC emphasized the need for people to minimize movement and travel only when they cannot avoid to lessen chances of contracting the virus.
On hygiene, Dr Wolde added that the ban on hawking of food stuffs would be effected while sanitary standards at eateries and hotels would be scaled up.
The CEC further asked public transport operators to assist in sensitizing their clientele on the need to maintain personal hygiene by hand washing as well as avoiding crowded places and socializing.