Kenya: Govt Bans Secondhand Clothes Importation to Avert COVID-19 Spread

Heaps of second-hand clothes (file photo).

Nairobi — The government has suspended the importation of second hand clothes in the country in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina Wednesday said the directive is aimed at safeguarding the health of Kenyans who regularly purchase the clothes popularly known as mitumba.

She said the directive is also meant to promote the local textile industries in the country during a period that has seen other sectors face challenges in their operations notably the transport, tourism and agriculture, amid an economic meltdown.

Kenya has so far registered 25 cases of persons who have been infected with the virus.

The Ministry of Health was Wednesday set to issue additional measures on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during his media briefing on Tuesday noted that the government was considering to impose a total lockdown in the country but maintained that it was an option on the table.

Other countries have since taken this route with South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda being the countries in the region that have initiated lockdowns for a limited number of days.

CS Kagwe on Tuesday announced 647 traced contacts are still being monitored wuth 98 others having been cleared.

He however, emphasized the need for Kenyans to exercise behavioral change in the country for it to win the battle against the pandemic.

"Kenyans are exhibiting very undisciplined behavior, and this is going to cost us. It is a grave mistake for us to give you your child because we do not want the exposed then you go expose your child at home. This is one time you need to help the government because the government cannot help every household. We want responsibility among citizens," Kagwe said while sending a warning to parents sending their children to private tuition.

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