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Officials from the public health department were dispatched to Gikomba, Muthurwa and Burma markets as government upscalled fumigation of public areas with include streets within Nairobi's Central Business District/CFM - Jemimah Mueni

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Health officials fumigate Nairobi markets as coronavirus countermeasures upscaled

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Health authorities Saturday embarked on a widescale fumigation exercise targeting public markets in Nairobi including Gikomba, Muthurwa and Burma in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Officials from the Ministry of Education also conducted training sessions sensitizing traders on handwashing, a crucial safeguard to keep the virus which has been declared a global pandemic at bay.

Simon Kimani, the Chairperson of the Public Health Council, urged traders to maintain the highest level of hygiene to avert an outbreak in market centres.

Areas fumigated in markets included clothing stalls/ CFM – Jemimah Mueni

While welcoming the move by the government to fumigate markets, Peter Karanja the ministry of health officials to expedite the exercise so that they can carry on with their businesses.

“This is a good move by the Ministry but what we are against is being told to close our business and stay home,” said Peter Karanja who trades in second-hand clothes.

Another trader Joseph Mulwa urged fellow traders to maintain high hygiene standards because “Cleanliness is important whether there is corona or not,” he said.

Kenya has so far confirmed seven cases of the virus with a dozen others being investigated at an isolation at treatment facility in Nairobi’s Mbagathi Hospital.

Globally, the pandemic has claimed over 11,000 lives with Africa reporting two deaths and some 900 infections.

“I want to urge everyone to wash their hands, also ensure your customers wash their hands before and after shopping, we are doing this is to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Kimani while addressing traders at Gikomba market.

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Public health officials also placed hand washing points strategically in the market.

Kimani said they were targeting markets and populated areas.

On Thursday officials fumigated crowded streets in the capital Nairobi.

Kenya has so far confirmed seven cases of the virus with a dozen others being investigated at the isolation and treatment facilities in Nairobi’s Mbagathi Hospital.

Globally, the pandemic has claimed over 11,000 lives with Africa reporting two deaths and some 900 infections.

As calls of social distance intensify, public transport providers have been urged to maintain cleanliness in their vehicles, while minimizing handling cash.

All passengers are also supposed to sanitize while boarding the vehicles.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Friday said the coming two weeks are the most critical in Kenya, saying going by trends observed in other countries “evidence indicates that the number of those infected increases dramatically in the second week following confirmation of first case,”

He emphasized the need for everyone to play their part in reducing the risk of transmission, while urging high levels of hygiene and maintenance of social distancing.

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Most governments across the world have asked their citizens to stay home, also asking employers to let their employees work from home unless those offering critical services.

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