Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called out the informal sector for flouting measures in the prevention against spread of Covid-19 even as the country recorded five more cases, raising to the total to 184.
The CS especially urged the jua kali sector including boda boda operators, salons and barbershops, as well as market traders, popularly known as mama mbogas, to adhere to social distancing rules and wearing of face masks as they go about their trade.
Similar measures are already being employed in retail stores, banks and public transport vehicles, which have limited number of people in the shops, halls and buses.
“Our economy to a large extent depends on you, however, a lot of abuse and non-distancing is happening in these sectors. I urge for your cooperation, so that we do not have to take extreme measures to achieve compliance,” said CS Kagwe.
On motorcycle operators, the CS said their defiance to set regulations increases the chances of exposure and spread of the virus and warned that their boda bodas would be impounded.
“We have noted with serious concern that boda bodas are not observing the laws and are still carrying more than one passenger and not wearing face masks. We have noted they are being used to flout movement restrictions into and out of designated counties on Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale,” he said.
In the daily briefing, Mr Kagwe said 308 tests had been carried out in the last 24 hours, out of which the five tested positive.
Three of the cases was recorded in Nairobi, while the others are in Mombasa. Only one of the patients had been in quarantine, the others were identified through contact tracing.
He also announced that four patients have been discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 13, while one patient died in Mombasa, raising the death toll to seven.
“We expect to register more gains and we are glad to note that people are taking personal responsibility. We must jealously guard the gains we are making while at the same time pushing harder,” he added.
“We cannot afford to drop the ball at any time soon. We have to sustain the measures until victory is made and the curve is flattened,” he said.
Regarding contact tracing, the ministry said 2,046 people were monitored and 1,448 discharged, and that 598 were under follow-up.
It further said that closure of the quarantine facilities at Trademark and Hill Park hotels and said all other mandatory quarantine centres would be shut by the end of the week.
"Out of the 2,050 people admitted in quarantine facilities, 880 have been discharged," the ministry explained.
The Covid-19 disease has killed at least 89,418 people worldwide since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.
At least 1,529,640 infections and 337,210 recoveries have been reported globally, according to Worldometer's count on Thursday.
- Additional reporting by Nasibo Kabale