Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has said a total shutdown of the country is the only approach Kenya will use to be able to battle coronavirus.
Speaking in Mombasa on Sunday, March 22, Joho said the city of Wuhan in China, which is the epicenter of the virus, has been able to ward off the infection after blocking exit and entry of people.
“A total shut down…a total shut down is what has made them successful. You guys must understand this – a complete shutdown is what has made them to change the conversation,” Governor Joho said, adding that, they [Chinese] are now saying they will not allow other people to come into Wuhan where it all began.
The county boss noted that he was alive to the fact that a total shut down of a country, had far-reaching painful economic consequences but was quick to point out that it was the only solution to prevent Kenya from the same type of horror being witnessed in Italy.
“We must understand, that these are painful decisions, yes but do we need to take them, yes of course” he said.
“Don’t listen to me if you don’t want to, but I have told you. I want it to go on record that I said it,” he added.
Governor Joho also said that there is a need to scale down on the things that we normally do on our day to day lives for the purposes of preventing corona (COVID-19) coming into our midst.
“The holiest place for Muslims in the world has been closed. Other places, they have followed suit, what are we waiting for?” he asked.
— Governor Hassan Joho (@HassanAliJoho) March 23, 2020
Africa Tembelea understands that eight more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kenya, bringing the total to 15.
According to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the patients, who comprise five Kenyans, two French nationals and a Mexican, have been isolated, as the 363 passenger who came in contact with them are being traced.
“All the eight are imported cases from Europe and America. All the eight came through JKIA between March 4 and March 17. They have all been isolated at various facilities and are being monitored,” he said.
Mr. Kagwe also noted that, the seven other patients who tested positive are stable.
Since its outbreak in China, coronavirus has killed at least 13,500 people and infected over 300,000 globally.
Emphasizing the effectiveness of hygiene and maintaining the social distance of one metre in curbing the spread of the virus, CS Kagwe said restaurants will remain open but should only offer takeaway services. Bars will remain closed until further notice.
“Kenyans must treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves. If we continue to behave normally this disease will treat us abnormally.”
He said that those coming into the country before March 25 will undergo mandatory quarantine at government isolation centres at their own expense. For those who violate the self-quarantine requirement, Mr. Kagwe said they will be forcefully isolated for 14 days at their cost and thereafter arrested and charged.
Africa Tembelea has also learnt that all international flights into Kenya have been suspended effective March 25, with exception of cargo flights, whose crew must observe strict safety guidelines.