Lockdown in Eastleigh, Old Town as Covid-19 cases shoot
Kenya has hit another record high in terms of the number of coronavirus cases recorded daily, reporting 47 more positive test results on Wednesday.
The Health ministry said 32 of the new cases were recorded in Mombasa, 11 in Nairobi, two in Busia and one each in Kiambu and Kwale.
While announcing a total of 582 confirmed cases since Kenya’s first case on March 13, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said two more people had died, raising the death toll to 26.
He said the two people aged 68 and 76 died at their homes in Mombasa, raising more concerns cases that go unnoticed as people stay at home.
“One patient in Kenyatta National Hospital came to Kenya from Tanzania, through Loitokitok, using matatus. This shows us the danger we are in and further tells why the measures in the transport system have been put in place,” he said.
The CS also reported that eight more people had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 190.
The government announced tougher measures to contain the spread of the virus, with Eastleigh in Nairobi and Old Town in Mombasa emerging as hotspots.
As such, CS Kagwe announced the cessation of movement into and out of the two areas and said markets, restaurants and eateries would be shut effective May 6.
The orders will remain for 15 days in both areas.
Mr Kagwe noted that public transporters would not operate in these areas and but that activities within their borders would not be restricted amid mass testing to establish the extent of infection and identity contacts.
The minister noted that “these measures are not intended to punish but protect the people in those areas”.
The government further announced that the government would pay for the costs of targeted testing and quarantine at its facilities, effective May 6.
“This is as a result of concerns from Kenyans in regard to costs,” CS Kagwe said.
The State also said that patients returning home from other parts of the world would not be quarantined.
“Instead, they will be signed for and released to their doctors so they can be quarantined in premises that their doctors determine are sufficient to deal with their particular challenges,” the CS said.
Regarding transport restrictions, the government said cargo drivers must be tested 48 hours before travel and be issued with a Covid-19 free certificate which is valid for 14 days.
“Before being let into the Mombasa port, Nairobi and Naivasha, as well as at the border points, they will be required to submit the certificate,” Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said.
The CS said that the commuter rail service had been identified as being at high risk for the virus, therefore 40 coaches had been introduced in addition to the 60 that were in service.
“The commuter rail carries between 40,000 and 50,000 people a day,” he said, noting the move will ensure physical distancing to curb the spread of the virus.
“There is also a sanitiser tunnel which commuters must pass through before getting into the train, to ensure they don’t carry the virus into it.”
He said a brand new ferry was bought and will be commissioned in Likoni on Thursday in efforts to promote social distancing and improve services.
In Africa, the coronavirus had infected at least 50,502 people and killed over 1,921, according to case tracker Worldometer’s count on May 5.
Since the first case was reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019, at least 3,746,445 people worldwide had been infected by May 6.
The total number of deaths worldwide was 258,962 and that of recoveries at 1,250,449.
The number of active cases stood at 2,237,034, with two per cent or 49,282 of them being critical and the rest mild.
Worldometer’s count showed that the number of closed cases was 1,509,411, with 83 per cent or 1,250,449 being the number of recoveries or those discharged.
Adapted from Business Daily