Traffic police and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) have been tasked to ensure compliance with safety precautions in public service vehicles (PSVs) in a bid to curb spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia, while checking on Kenya Railways’ preparedness against the disease at the Nairobi railway terminus, said the government is bringing on board all stakeholders, in both public and private sectors, to prevent spread of the virus that has so far afflicted 156 countries.
The CS said that Covid-19, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is an emergency that leaves no room for complacency.
Officers, he added, will be deployed to ensure there is no congestion in the often-crowded trains which could lead to a rapid spread of the disease.
“We have given directives to NTSA and the traffic police which are the agencies that will ensure compliance with the sanitisation standards we have provided,” he said.
He added: “ These agencies will be going around all bus stops, major highways inspecting vehicles and any that will be found flouting the laid rules will have their licence revoked,” he said.
The government has identified the city’s train transport system and PSVs as a nerve centre, in controlling possible spread of the disease, with at least 3 million people using the city’s public transport systems daily, while the trains alone carry about 35,000 people daily.
The Standard Gauge Railway has also been earmarked as another key area for constant and extensive sanitisation. The rapid transit trains carry about 6,000 people between Nairobi and Mombasa daily.
Kenya Railways has erected 20 water points at the terminus to ensure passengers wash their hands before they are provided with sanitisers.
The city train terminus is a key meeting point for commuters, from where PSVs pick up and drop thousands of passengers daily, underlining the importance of coordination between players in both sectors.
He said private vehicles and taxi companies, especially those working at public installations like the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, must adhere to sanitisation protocols.
As a result, the ministry is providing three sessions of civic education per day to taxi drivers to ensure compliance.