Kenyans Flee to Villages as Govt Issues Stricter Conditions Over Coronavirus

Second hand clothes on display at a stall in Toi Market in Nairobi.

Nairobi — Despite several calls urging Kenyans to minimize movement and practice social isolation, one local online bus ticketing company has reported a surge in its number of bookings.

Quick Bus says they have registered a 40 percent increase in bookings this month, with Mombasa, Meru, Kisumu, Busia, and Kakamega leading.

The company's Director of Growth Jefferson Aluda says part of their travelers are those fleeing the city for up-countries which they consider safer.

The travelers also include students, who have been heading home after the government ordered the closure of schools to combat spreading the coronavirus pandemic.

"The numbers keep on coming even as fears over the disease escalates," Aluda said.

Apart from closing schools, the government also suspended all public gatherings and urged workers in the public and private sectors to work from home.

Meanwhile, the government has introduced more precautionary measures as the country enters the second week since the first case of coronavirus was reported.

This includes restricting operational time for entertainment joints which will now open at 5 pm and close at 7.30 pm effective on Monday next week.

Such facilities, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said must also define the maximum number of people at any given time, so that the requirement of 1.5 meters self-distancing requirement is met.

Supermarkets have also been urged to operate for 24 hours so that more people can have enough time to do shopping but make sure their facilities are not crowded.

CS Kagwe said shopping should be done by one person per family while the management of supermarkets is required to establish a queue management system, with preference to people with special needs.

The pandemic has left more than 10,000 and infected more than 240,000 people since December.

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