Mombasa county leads in new Coronavirus cases, says CAS

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (right)with County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo (second right) and other officials during the launch of the relief food distribution programme on Monday. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga

Mombasa county has reported seven more coronavirus case, with health experts saying the spike could escalate in coming weeks.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary  (CAS) Dr Mercy Mwangangi said yesterday during the daily Covid-19 briefing that for the third day in a row Mombasa topped the number of new infections.

She said the National Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 has established local transmission as the source of the new infections.

“Of the 15 news cases, seven are from Mombasa. Indeed its true we are seeing rise of cases in Mombasa,” she said.

The county now has 61 cases with Nairobi recording 206.

Establish centres

The new cases have been reported in Nyali, Bamburi, Bondeni, Mvita and Miritini. This means the cases are now spread in all the six sub-counties of Mvita, Nyali, Kisauni, Likoni, Changamwe and Jomvu.

A doctor who is a member of the County Emergency Response on Covid-19 Committee said yesterday that the spike had been occasioned by slow response in isolation of contacts of previously reported cases and adherence to social distancing guidelines.

The doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not the spokesman of the committee said the county had established more isolation centres in readiness for the surge in new infections.

“We are anticipating that in the coming two weeks, the number of cases could rise to unprecedented levels. That is why we have established more isolation centres,” he said.

The doctor said people in Mombasa took long to adopt the Covid-19 guidelines thus leading to the widespread infections.

“We have a large number of poor people in the city who must go to work to earn a living. We are pushing for speedy isolation, strict enforcement of social distancing regulations which people are still not taking seriously,” he said.

Civil society organisations yesterday also raised concerns over the level of compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines, blaming security agents for exacerbating the spread of the virus.

Commission for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ) claimed that police had taken advantage of the pandemic to fleece the public using the coronavirus guidelines.

Pay bribes

CHRJ executive director Julius Ogogo said motorists were paying bribes at roadblocks erected at the boarders of Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi to pass in total violation of a ban on movement in and out of the counties.

On Monday, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said “the level of sheer irresponsibility demonstrated by residents in the county is to blame for the rise in the number of infections.”

Joho, who spoke in Changamwe where he launched the first phase of Covid-19 household distribution of food relief targeting 50,000 families expressed worries that the resort city could overtake Nairobi with the number of infections if residents do not adapt quickly to the Covid-19 guidelines.

County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo claimed residents were still shaking hands and others boarding matatus packed to capacity.

“Now as you can see cases in Nairobi are slowing down and here in Mombasa they are surging, this is serious and we need to understand that if we don’t take precautions we will burn this county,” said Kitiyo.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has warned that Mombasa was crossing the red line and efforts must be made to stop the spread of the virus.

He said the virus has spread in almost every estate in the county.

Coronavirus originated from Wuhan, China, before spreading fast across over 200 countries leaving more than 2.5 million people infected and 171, 843 others dead by yesterday. 

The number of recoveries was at 657,808 while the number of active cases stood at 1,669,334.

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