Cessation of movement in Nairobi’s Eastleigh and Old Town area of Mombasa has taken effect with security personnel manning all entry and exit points.
The directive by the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has seen all markets and eateries in the two areas remain closed and public transport grounded.
The partial lockdown which is expected to last for 15 days was necessitated by the spike in positive cases recorded in the two areas.
In Eastleigh, traders were up in arms complaining the order locks them out of business as such their families who depend on them will suffer.
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There was heavy presence of security personnel in all entry and exit points. Old Town which is a tourist attraction site had by Wednesday recorded 57 positive cases of Covid-19 making it the highest in Mombasa County, which has a total of 202 infections.
The movement ban in Old Town which now becomes one of the hotspots of coronavirus in the country saw the closure of the famous Mackinnon Market and several other shops and malls.
At Mackinnon Market, traders pleaded without success with the security personnel to be allowed to remove their goods saying some of them were perishable.
“Some of us don’t live in Old Town, but we have stalls in the market and it’s only fair to be allowed to conduct our business which is the only source of income,” said Mohamed Salim.
Salim said before the announcement, traders through their Market Association had implemented all the regulations put in place by the Ministry of Health.
The areas that are affected include Mji wa Kale, Mlango wa Papa, Kuze, Makadara, Kibokoni and Baghani.
Residents are allowed to go about their business, but within their boundaries, adding that the government will use the opportunity to conduct more mass testing in the two areas.
Mombasa county government has been forced to halt the mass testing drive in Old Town following hostility from area residents.
County chief health officer Ms Aisha Abubakar said the exercise was halted after days of a standoff with area residents angered by Governor Hassan Joho’s recent remarks that they would be forced to undergo the testing.
Abubakar says for the past three days the exercise was done at the old town, only 197 people presented themselves for testing out of a targeted 28,000 population.
Eastleigh has 68 cases. Kenya Wednesday recorded 47 new cases bring the total positive cases to 582.