Coronavirus: Mombasa spells drastic measures as it awaits tests of eight people
By Patrick Beja | March 20th 2020
Mombasa county is bracing for tough measures meant to curb coronavirus as authorities await the results of samples taken from eight visitors.
The eight foreigners are among 34 people who visited the Coast and are being quarantined, county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo told The Standard.
“We are awaiting the results of samples taken from eight people even as we strengthen surveillance and monitoring on covid-19,” said the county commissioner who co-chairs the Mombasa county emergency response committee on coronavirus, alongside Governor Hassan Joho (pictured).
The special team has suspended all prayer gatherings in mosques, churches and temples for 14 days.
At the same time, the committee met on Thursday evening and announced the closure of the Kongowea wholesale market for a month starting Saturday to reduce congestion.
"Kongowea wholesale market will be closed and customers redirected to satellite open air markets across the county,” added Kitiyo.
The market is the second most crowded area in Mombasa after Likoni Ferry.
Sources said the wholesale traders will distribute the produce from open air sites such as Tononoka Grounds, Changamwe and Likoni as well as directly to the markets in Mackinnon, Mwembe Tayari and Majengo.
“We do not expect traders to hike prices because the commodities will be taken closer to the people, instead of being centralized at Kongowea,” Kitiyo said.
Joho and Kitiyo also announced the immediate closure of all bars, playgrounds, gyms, movie theatres, liquor dens, playstation outlets, video cafes and massage parlours.
“Hair salons and barbershops are required to maintain high standards of hygiene and should use appropriate protective gear including gloves, masks and further ensure not more than five people are at the premises at one time,” said the committee in a statement.
Kitiyo further directed that hand sanitisers to be provided in all places where money is handled, including M-Pesa and ATMs.
The committee also wants hand sanitisers and hand washing facilities to be provided at the entrances of all commercial buildings.
All bus companies are required to clean and disinfect them after every trip and to provide thermo-guns for screening all passengers before boarding.
“All hospitals to restrict visitation to one visitor per patient per day. Minimise visits to all offices,” said Kitiyo.
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