Gov’t bans street hawking, public gatherings in Old Town, Eastleigh

Health CAS Dr. Rashid Aman addresses the press at Afya House. PHOTO/COURTESY

The government has now introduced a raft of new stringent measures aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus in Nairobi’s Eastleigh and 0ld Town in Mombasa.

This comes following a previous directive declaring cessation of movement in and out of the two areas which have now emerged as the country’s Covid-19 ‘areas of concern.’

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman, addressing the press at Afya House on Saturday, announced a ban on street hawking as well as social gatherings in Eastleigh and Old Town.

“In order to accelerate the flattening of our curve, we are today introducing additional measures to contain the spread of the virus in Eastleigh and Old Town where we had imposed restricted movement in and out of,” said Dr. Aman.

“These include prohibition of hawking, street hawking or any other form of hawking, within Eastleigh and Old Town; prohibition of gatherings of whatever nature, and continued closure of malls, markets, restaurants and eateries.”

The CAS also warned restaurant and eatery owners who have gone ahead to hastily reopen their establishments without following government directives on social distancing and mandatory testing of employees that action will be taken against them.

He further observed the laxity witnessed in the country within recent weeks, expressing worry that Kenyans are quick returning to their normal lives.

According to him, “we’re still combating this disease; we have not yet registered victory. It would be foolhardy for us to relax and think we’re winning this disease and lower our guard.”

“We have observed, in most urban centers, that life has come back to almost normal. I think you will all agree that over the last couple of weeks we have seen traffic increase in Nairobi and other metropolitan areas. It does worry us that we are thinking that we are in a state of normalcy; we’re not,” he added.

Dr. Aman hence cautioned the management of supermarkets and malls that are not adhering to the measures of social distancing and the number of customers at a time saying they face the risk of closure.

He also revealed that the ministry will, for the next nights beginning Saturday, celebrate front-line workers by displaying messages of hope, gratitude and encouragement on the facade of Afya House.