Kenya: Kibera Could Soon Be Put on Lockdown - MoH

The government on Tuesday put Kibera slum dwellers on the notice and warned that part of it could go on lockdown.

Dr Rashid Aman, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, said during his daily update in Nairobi that they were monitoring Kibera closely and a section could be put on lockdown if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

"It is on the table and the government will announce if it feels it necessary to do so... Kibera being an epicentre... We are continuing to monitor it closely... We are identifying and mapping the cluster," he said.

Kenya on Tuesday recorded 72 new cases of Covid-19, raising the country's total number to 2,093. Nairobi led with 39 cases, 16 of them in Kibera.

Kibera now has 170 positive cases recorded from the area, the highest in the city.

Eastleigh and Mombasa's Old Town, which are on lockdown until June 6, 2020, were sealed off by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on May 6 after recording 58 and 67 cases, respectively.

So far, Eastleigh has at least 120 cases while Old Town is just shy of 100 cases.

Yet, even with such high figures, it's business as usual in Kibera.

On Saturday, Dr Aman said that if the numbers in Kibera keep increasing, then necessary action will be taken.

"We have seen increasing concern about Kibra as the testing goes on and if the numbers go on increasing then necessary interventions will be taken," he said.

On Sunday, he addressed the same issue, saying slums remain an area of concern for the government in its fight against Covid-19.

"We are actively following up on these cases (in Kibera). We are trying to trace all the people who have been in contact with the positive cases," he said.

Health Director General Patrick Amoth, on Sunday, said densely populated informal settlements have become hotspots for the disease.

"It is practically difficult to ensure social distancing. The only measure left (in informal settlements) now is hygiene and use of masks," said Dr Amoth.

According to the DG, lack of access to clean water has played a role in the disease's rapid spread in informal settlements.

The peak of the disease in Kenya is expected to be around August and September when the Health ministry predicts a daily tally of 200.

More From: Nairobi News

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