The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) has been directed to enforce safety and security measures at the busy Likoni crossing channel in Mombasa to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata underscored the need to step up safety measures at the vital channel in the wake of Coronavirus cases to limit the risk of infections.
Elungata has directed the KFS management to restrict the number of people boarding the ferries per trip to stem the spread of Coronavirus.
The RC asked KFS management to work closely with public health authorities on both sides of crossing channel to ensure the safety of their passengers and the wider public by increasing sanitation on its vessels and inside its terminals.
KFS has installed hand-washing facilities at both sides of the channel as a preventative measure against the deadly disease.
He urged ferry users to play their part in preventing the spread of the virus and support the safeguards being taken in the wake of the global pandemic.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and have identified the ferry crossing as a possible flash-point of the pandemic and we are prepared for possible cases of the virus,” he said.
The regional administrator said the restrictions are temporary measures designed to protect ferry passengers, motorists and crews.
[Locals boarding MV-Jambo at the Likoni ferry channel. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
As cases of Coronavirus continue to rise globally we have no option but to take strict measures to minimize the risk posed to the ferry users” he said.
Elungata said the restrictions on the flow of passengers to the ferries are in line with government guidance on ‘social distancing’ and in the best interest of the health of the population.
“The ferries are usually packed to capacity and avoiding close contact becomes near impossible and that is why we are cutting down the number of passengers per trip” he said.
He urged ferry users to embrace maintaining distance from one another while on-board the vessels to prevent transmission of the highly contagious virus.
More than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles cross the busy channel.
Kenya has so far confirmed 355 Covid-19 positive cases.