Miraa and Mogoka trade banned in Lamu over Coronavirus

Miraa and Mogoka business in Lamu County has been banned indefinitely following a directive by the Lamu County Commissioner (CC), Irungu Macharia.

Consequently, the CC ordered that no vehicles ferrying the two products will be allowed in the County from Thursday.

This ban comes in the wake of a public outcry by local religious leaders that Miraa and Mogoka could be a conduit not only for harder drug abuse but also for easy transmission of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Macharia further stated that  no Miraa or Mogoka business will be allowed within the County until further notice as dictated by the threat of COVID-19.

His directive comes in the wake of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties issuing similar directives towards Miraa and Mogoka which enjoys a huge market within the four counties.

Speaking to KNA on Wednesday, after a security meeting meant to strategize on the implementation of measure aimed towards curbing spread of COVID-19 within the County, the County Commissioner who was flanked by the Lamu County Police Commander, Moses Muriithi, noted that the National and the County Government had put in place preventive measures to keep the virus at bay.

Present images of the Mkunguni Square market in Lamu Island that was on Wednesday evacuated and moved to Kibaki grounds to prevent congestion that would leave thousands within the Island prone to contracting COVID-19 in case of an outbreak.

“We have also sought to move the Mkunguni market to Kibaki grounds which is a lot more spacious in comparison to the Lamu fort precincts that have been in use by market traders, this is to avoid congestion and any likelihood to escalate the spread of Coronavirus in case of an outbreak,” the County Commissioner added.

He also urged members of the public to desist from spreading rumours on social media, noting that the LAPSSET project has been at the receiving end with distorted publicity in regards to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“LAPSSET contractors have taken it upon themselves to ensure that workers contracted to the project do not move out of the facility to prevent the likelihood of contracting the deadly virus,” Macharia said.

He further said that the LAPSSET project will continue as planned with the Chinese Communication Construction Company (CCCC) provided adequate measures are taken to assure the national government that the Vision 2030 project is not at risk.

CC further said that parents should ensure that their children stay at home to avoid any exposure to the virus.

“Parents should note that this is not a holiday period for children but rather a time when they should manage and restrict their movements,” he said.

Sentiments echoed by Lamu County Health Executive (CEC), Dr. Anne Gathoni, who said that the County Government was also urging members of the public to reduce travel during this period under threat by the coronavirus spread.

“There had been two suspected cases, which on testing the results came negative, and thus Lamu residents should be rest assured that the government is vigilant and will address testing cases on a need by need basis,” Dr. Gathoni, further revealed.

COVID-19 testing for suspected Lamu cases is currently being carried out in Nairobi due to lack of kits within the county.


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