Kenya: Sonko Forms Coronavirus Emergency Team, Appoints Himself Chairman

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has formed a 13-member county emergency team tasked with responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

The team will be headed by the Governor as its chairman.

Other members of the team include acting County Secretary Justus Kathenge, Health Services Executive Hitan Majevdia, Finance and Economic Planning CEC Allan Igambi, Roads and Transport Executive Mohamed Dagane and Education CEC Lucia Mulwa.

Others are Nairobi County Commissioner Florence Mworoa, Chief of Staff Peter Mugo, Health Chief Officer Sahal Mohamed, Disaster Management Chief Officer Anne Mwenda, County Director for Health Dr Lucina Koyio, and two members of the Secretariat Bernard Mulwa and Magdalene Ndawa.

"Being a critical entry point into East Africa, I do hereby appoint the Nairobi City County Emergency Team for coronavirus," read in part the letter by Governor Sonko.

The formation of the emergency team follows a meeting between the Council of Governors Health Committee, Ministry of Health and all the Health CECs from across the 47 counties in the country.

At the March 4, 2020 meeting, which came after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, it was resolved that every county form an emergency team to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Nairobi is one of the hotspots of coronavirus with the majority of the confirmed cases in the country.

And as such, the county government has been carrying out fumigation exercise which is in its third week.

The exercise has seen major markets, bus stops and even streets and public resting places fumigated. Also, more than 12,500 people have also been screened.

Mr Majevdia said the team will mirror the National Government's which is tasked with putting in place measures to prevent, protect against, control and provide public health response to control the spread of Covid-19.

"The team will be responsible for coordinating anything to do with corona. Just like the national one, this is the county now. The Governor signed the letter on Tuesday," said Mr Majevdia.

In February, President Uhuru Kenyatta formed the National Emergency Response Committee to monitor the risk posed by the deadly coronavirus.

In an executive order, the President appointed Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to head the task force mandated to coordinate Kenya's preparedness, prevention and response to the deadly disease.

"Having found it both prudent and necessary to establish a framework to upscale and coordinate Kenya's preparedness and national response to the Coronavirus threat," read the statement.

The 21-member team is led by Mr Kagwe with other committee members including Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Transport CS James Macharia and ICT CS Joe Mucheru, among others.

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