You’ve crossed the red line, Kagwe tells Mombasa county

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Governor Hassan Joho (centre), County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo (2nd right) and members of the Mombasa Household Relief and Nutrition flag off food relief distribution for vulnerable families. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

For the second day, Mombasa County led in the number of new Covid-19 infections - and with reports that seven of the 11 cases confirmed yesterday were captured there, its tally now stands at 54 out of the country’s 281.

Nairobi has 200 cases as per the details released by the Ministry of Health yesterday

The alarming trend has captured the attention of the National Emergency Response Committee for Coronavirus (NERC) with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe saying Mombasa is crossing the red line and efforts must be made to stop the spread of the virus.

During his daily brief yesterday, Kagwe said the virus had spread in almost every estate.

“It is growing, as you realise, seven cases in a day in Mombasa, that is not a small number by any standard and if you multiply those numbers by four, it tells that if you do not remove those people from the town, then each of them will go and multiply by four,” he said.

Yesterday, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho blamed the spike in the number of infection on “sheer irresponsibility demonstrated by residents in the county.” 

Said he: “Some people still do not care, you tell people to wear masks but you find people wearing them on their chins and foreheads, yet they know very well a mask is supposed to cover nose and mouth.”

Joho, who spoke in Changamwe where he launched distribution of the first phase of Covid-19 household food relief targetting 50,000 families warned that unless residents adhere to guidelines, especially on behaviour change, to stem the coronavirus spread, the resort city could overtake Nairobi.

The new cases were reported in the coastal city areas of Bondeni, Mvita and Miritini, which means that the virus has now spread to all the six sub-counties of Mvita, Nyali, Kisauni, Likoni, Changamwe and Jomvu.

County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo claimed residents disregard expert guidelines and still shake hands as others board crowded passenger service vehicles.

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

Apart from matatus, markets in the county are still crowded with people paying scant respect to social distancing.

For example, at Tononoka grounds where part some of the traders from Kongowea market have been relocated, the social distancing aspect of the guidelines is not being observed.

Kagwe told Kenyans to respect medical  guidelines to  help curb the spread of corona and cited the latest case involving three people who came into contact with a herbalist who died of the disease on Saturday. The herbalist was buried on Sunday at Kikowani Muslim Cemetery.

“The three from Bondeni and Old Town are all contacts of the herbalists. We have one more case on Miritini and Mvita and those are from our quarantine centres,” he said.

“This indicates that the virus is not a Nairobi disease, it is not a stranger’s disease. It is something in your neighbourhood, it is something that is being carried by a brother or a sister and it is something being carried by a friend”.

More on National