- Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho regretted that the people resorted to fleeing despite knowing their status.
- Mombasa had a total of 202 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the Health ministry's report for the day.
- The governor said police launched a search for the five people.
A few hours after the government locked down the ancient Old Town in Mombasa, five residents reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 disappeared from their homes.
They were among more than 50 people whose samples were tested earlier.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho regretted that the people resorted to fleeing despite knowing their status.
“The report we have is that they decided to take their families and hide,” he told a press briefing at his office in the county on Thursday.
“What does that help? I have never heard of that in this world ... that you know you are sick and go into hiding [sic]. Who does that? What that means is that you are putting the other families you have run to at risk,” he said.
“What they are doing is deliberately spreading the disease. They will be dealt with,” he added.
Addressing journalists flanked by County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo and other members of the county's Covid-19 response team, the governor said police launched a search for the five people.
Mr Joho who has been heavily criticised by Old Town residents after he saying they would be tested forcefully, asked them to make more effort in dealing with the pandemic.
“In this war, your enemy is not the government, your governor or your politician, Covid-19 is our enemy,” he said.
The governor told the residents that a majority of the cases in area are asymptomatic and they should therefore not think they are okay.
He said following the cessation of movement imposed by the government in the area, his administration will establish a medical centre at Peugeot area as well as mobilise food aid for anyone in need.
Mr Kitiyo told the residents that the movement ban was meant to deal with the pandemic, not to punish them.
He asked them to take advantage of the 15 days to deal with the virus by following government guidelines.
“I do not want us to waste time looking for panya routes. You may get away from Old Town yet get infected where you are headed,” he said.
By Wednesday evening, police had been deployed to all the alleys and main roads leading into and out of Old Town to effect the lockdown.
“We know there are people who are undisciplined and will go against the order but I assure that we will have enough officers in those alleys they are thinking of using,” said Mr Kitiyo.
The administrator clarified that the restriction of movement covers the area from Mlango wa Papa Road, which connects to Kuze area, to Makadara Road.
Coming from Buxton, the boundary is on the left side of Digo Road. This means Bondeni area will not be affected.
Those living in Makadara, which is near the central police station, are also affected by the restriction.
A majority of businesses that operate along Makadara Road remained shut on Thursday. In the famous Mackinon Market, businesses were also shut as police patrolled the area.
Mr Kitiyo noted that mini-supermarkets and shops that sell basic items would remain open.
He added that all emergencies in the area will be looked into. For instance, those who will need to access hospitals, he said, will be allowed upon confirmation of their cases.
He added that essential service providers will have need to have certificates showing they have been tested and found to be negative.
Mombasa had a total of 202 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the Health ministry's report for the day.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman announced 25 new infections, saying Nairobi accounted for 17, Kajiado and Wajir two each and Migori, Isiolo, Mombasa and Nakuru one each.
Dr Aman also announced that seven more patients had been discharged, raising the total number of recoveries to 197.
He also said three more patients have died, two in Nairobi and one in Mombasa, raising the death toll in Kenya to 29.