MOMBASA, Kenya May 5 – The coastal city of Mombasa has recorded high COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, and is among the five counties implementing a cessation of movement to prevent the spread.
And it is among the counties with an impressive record of enhanced measures to curb coronavirus set out by the county government.
“We are not taking any chances because we must save our people,” said Hassan Joho, Mombasa Governor, on a recent interview.
On Monday, Joho, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo volunteered for COVID-19 tests, perhaps to encourage locals after the government decried a low turn out of people willing to undertake the test.
The three leaders also changed tune on forceful testing for all 28,000 residents of Old Town area, considered a hotspot for the virus.
There was uproar in the town at the weekend after Joho, Nassir and Kitiyo threatened to force Old Town residents to undergo forceful testing for COVID-19.
The town had registered 158 cases by Monday, as the caseload in the country hit 490.
A total of 13 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in Mombasa–some from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
“The governor cannot force us to be tested. He should come here and lead from the front,” said some Old Town residents before Joho took the test on Monday.
Joho said whatever the county and national governments are doing in Mombasa is to the benefit to the local.
“We will not let you down. If you are positive, we will support you,” said Joho.
Kitiyo said they will look into several factors before someone is taken to a government facility for mandatory quarantine.
“Do not be afraid of quarantine, the public health officials will look from where you come from before you are taken to quarantine. Our facilities are also friendly,” he said.