On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 (coronavirus) a global health pandemic. While Kenya did not have any recorded cases then, this followed shortly when the Government issued an announcement on 13th March, 2020 on its first COVID 19 case.
Since then the Government has put in place several measures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus, among them the closure of the Mombasa County, the Nairobi Metropolitan area and other Counties which were experiencing high increase in COVID 19 cases. These measures restricted travel of persons out of and into these counties and the related road, air and rail transport.
While the measures taken by the Government have contributed immensely in controlling the spread of the pandemic in addition to allowing for more time to put in place additional mitigation measures, the negative impact on the economy and livelihood has severe consequences which calls for lifting of some of the restrictions.
It is in this respect that this protocol has been prepared to provide guidelines which once applied strictly will facilitate safe travel for passengers using public road transport. It is noted that similar protocols have also been prepared for both air and rail transport. These protocols will however only create the desired results if all stakeholders including the vehicle owners, the drivers, touts, the passengers and various National Government Agencies and County Governments cooperate and play their identified roles effectively.
The protocol has been prepared in line with guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, international practices that have proved effective in controlling the spread of the virus and guidance by the Ministry of Health. The protocol has also been prepared in consultation with key stakeholders including the State Department for Transport, Ministry of Health, Public Service Operators, the State Department for Coordination of Government and the National Transport Authority.
James W. Macharia, EGH CABINET SECRETARY