Joho now wants President Kenyatta to declare lock-down to prevent coronavirus spread


Joho now wants President Kenyatta to declare lock-down to prevent coronavirus spread
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho. PHOTO| COURTESY

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a total lock down in the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The Mombasa Governor says Kenya should learn from Wuhan, China — the epicenter of the worldwide COVID-19 — where a shutdown of day-to-day activities has proved effective in containing spread of the pandemic.

‘Why did Wuhan beat the virus? It is very simple — a total shutdown. That is what has made them successful. They are even saying they will not allow other people to come to Wuhan where it all began,” said Joho.

He acknowledged that a lock down would bring along serious ramifications but pointed out it is a painful decision that the country ought to take.

“These are painful decisions… Do we need to take them? Yes! Of course. They could cost us… So be it. I want to go on record that I said it. There is a need to scale down on the things that we normally do in our day to day lives for the purposes of preventing coronavirus from coming in our midst,” added the Mombasa Governor.

The number of coronavirus cases in Kenya rose to 16 after one more individual was declared positive on Monday, March 23.

This comes amid worrying revelations that a Rome-based priest, who has since tested positive for the coronavirus,  led a mass and burial in Siaya and has travelled o several places in the country in a public service vehicle.

At the same time it has emerged that several police officers in Kilifi County have been placed under self-quarantine after coming into contact with the area Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi who is reported to have contracted the virus after he travelled to Germany.

The possibility of the government declaring a lock-down has remained a subject for speculation that has since been dismissed by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe who is leading the country’s National Emergency Response Committee On Coronavirus.

The latest drastic measures to combat the coronavirus in the country include the closure of all bars and nightclubs as well as suspension of mosque and church services.

The government has also announced a suspension of all international flights coming into the country as well as a restriction of the number of passengers allowed in public service vehicles.

China locked down Wuhan city, home to 11 million people, on 23 January in a move that was initially met with international scepticism.

Earlier this month, Italy shut down the northern region that was most severely affected by the virus before later extending the lock down to the entire country.

In France a lock down was declared last week, with people being barred from leaving home except to buy food or essentials.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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