The government is mulling locking down Kibra following the growing Covid-19 cases in Kenya’s most populous informal settlement, this coming as the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced 72 new coronavirus cases in the country.
Tuesday, 16 out of the 39 cases found in Nairobi were from Kibra. Last Friday, Kibera also reported 45 cases out of the 127 cases confirmed in the country while the day before it had 35 incidents out of 147 national tally.
The possible lockdown was announced Tuesday by the MoH Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman as he reported 17 new discharges and two fatalities by bringing total recoveries and deaths to 499 and 71, respectively.
“In terms of putting down measures that will completely lock them (Kibera) down, this is clearly on the table and it is something that the government will put in place as soon as the government feels the need to do that. But we have to access and balance these things,” said Mr Aman.
The ministry has in the past raised concerns of a rapid spread in the city’s densely populated informal settlements where social distancing rules are difficult to enforce and most residents have lost their livelihoods.
“We are continuing to watch this epicenter within Kibra and very very closely, we are looking at where this cluster may be, we are mapping it. It is possible that it is not the entire Kibra where we are getting this high transmission, it may be a particular pocket,” said Mr Aman.
He also added that the ministry will make a final decision once it has enough information that the transmission continues to spread rapidly.
“…As I said before, these options are always on the table,” he said while adding that informal settlements present their own unique challenges that need to be look at carefully.
Other cases in Nairobi, eight were found in Embakasi South and five each in Lang’ata and Westlands. A case each was found in Embakasi West, Starehe and Dagoretti North.
In Mombasa cases the eight cases are from Mvita, Changamwe, Kisauni, Liloi and Nyali. In Kajiado, three cases were found at the border and one in Kitengela. Cases in Migori, Kiambu, Garissa and Kisumu, were from Isebania border point, Githunguri, Garissa Central and Kisumu Central, respectively. A total of 2,093 samples were tested.
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