Kenya bars people with flu-like symptoms from boarding ferries at busy Likoni channel

  • Governor Ali Hassan Joho and County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo held a meeting on 23rd March 2020 where they arrived at the decision.
  • All salons and barbershops have also been ordered shut with immediate effect as a measure to contain the spread of the virus.
  • Ferry users are currently being forced to wash their hands before boarding the ferries.

You won’t be allowed to board any ferry in Mombasa if you have as much as a cold as the Kenya races to stay ahead of the Coronavirus pandemic.

People with flu-like symptoms will now be barred from boarding ferries, Mombasa County emergency response committee has announced.

The Likoni crossing channel

The Likoni crossing channel

Governor Ali Hassan Joho and County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo held a meeting on 23rd March 2020 where they arrived at the decision.

“Anyone with flu-like signs and symptoms should not board the ferry. They should seek health services from the nearest hospitals.” said Joho.

The drastic move follows eight people in the coastal city being tested for the Covid-19 last week on Friday and all congregational prayer gatherings in churches, mosques and temples being suspended for the next 14 days.

All salons and barbershops have also been ordered shut with immediate effect as a measure to contain the spread of the virus

It is business as usual, however, at the busy likoni channel which ferries thousands of commuters between the Mombasa island and the South Coast some 500m-long apart.

Operations of the ferries at the Likoni channel are still on at full throttle with four ferries; MV Likoni, MV Kwale, MV Jambo and MV Kilindini still labouring past each other packed with commuters.

Mv Likoni. (business daily)

Mv Likoni. (business daily)

One vessel carries between 1,400 and1,600 people and more than 50 vehicles at a go. This means travellers don’t have the luxury to maintain social distancing as part of precautions against coronavirus.

Ferry users are currently being forced to wash their hands before boarding the ferries.

The following measures have to be observed by ferry users; hand washing and use of handkerchief or a piece of cloth for covering mouth and nose,” Joho said.

Tuk Tuk, Boda Boda operators and hawkers have also since been ordered to move away from parking stations around the ferry in order to create space for crowd management.

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