KEBS bans importation of ‘mitumba’ clothes and shoes

The Kenya Bureau of Standards on Tuesday announced that it had banned the importation of second hand clothes and shoes, popularly known as mitumba, until further notice.

KEBS stated that it arrived at the decision as a result of the declaration of Coronavirus as a global pandemic.

“We wish to notify the General Public and all importers of used garments and used shoes that the importation of used garments and used footwear is hereby prohibited with immediate effect.

“No consignment of used garments and used footwear shall be accepted from a country experiencing an epidemic,” read the statement in part.

Second hand-clothes take weeks, sometimes months, from European countries where they are imported from to Kenya where they often stored for more days before sale.

They often undergo various processes and in most cases they are cleaned. The clothes are usually sprayed before they are shipped.

You are, however, always encouraged to wash the clothes before you wear them.

According to WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions is quite low.

At the moment there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care.

Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials.