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Kenyans unmoved by coronavirus threat as number of those resuming work rises

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – More Kenyans are going to their places of work, an increase of 16 percent in the last one week, according to Google’s latest weekly COVID-19 Community Mobility Report.

This is in defiance to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s social distancing directive, encouraging more people to work from home to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The increase in the number of people going to work has in reverse seen reduced movement in residential areas to 20 percent from 25 percent posted last week.

The report also finds that fewer people used public transport such as buses and trains witnessing a 6 percent reduction in movement.

There were also fewer visits by Kenyans to the grocery and pharmacy spaces, to mark a 7 percent movement reduction.

The trend is the same with national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens that saw a 3 percent reduction in movement.

According to the report, more Kenyans have also been avoiding crowded places, as such, recreational areas like restaurants, shopping centers, movie theatres have recorded a 5 percent reduction in movement.

Google, however, expects this to change during the week, following the recent directive by the government on reopening of restaurants.

The Community Mobility Report also provides county-level data. 16 percent more Nairobi residents traveled to work causing a 8 percent reduction in those within residential spaces.

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In Mombasa, there is a 10 percent increase in people within workspaces and a 2 percent reduction in people moving within residential areas. Kisumu has recorded an increase of 14 percent of those going to work and a 3 percent reduction of movement in residential spaces in the past week.

Also Read:  International market still has confidence in Kenya

New Data

The finding comes even as Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi warned the public of taking the pandemic casually and resuming to their normal lives, despite a rise in the number of cases.

With 490 people being infected by the global virus in Kenya, Mwangangi warned that if Kenyans decide to live normally, the situation may worsen and cases increase exponentially.

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