NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7- The government has denied claims that it is targeting Muslims after declaring a lockdown in Eastleigh region of Nairobi and Old Town in Mombasa where COVID-19 cases have surged since last week.
Both areas are pre-dominantly occupied by muslims.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said the restrictions put place in those two areas are only meant to curb the spread of the virus whose community transmission has been high.
Aman, himself a Muslim, urged residents in the affected areas to strictly comply with the government regulations, and view them as aimed at helping them but not a punishment.
“I know the restrictions placed are of inconvenience but they are meant to help us. The measures we have put are for our own good and I know it is not easy especially now during Ramadhan where we are used to coming together but let us bring something positive out this difficult situation by being positive about the containment measures,” Aman said when he released new COVID-19 figures.
By Thursday, Kenya’s virus situation stood at 607, 29 deaths and 197 recoveries.
“I want to remind you that it should not be business as usual. The measures that we outlined should be adhered to. Together with the other guidelines, they will help us mitigate the community transmission of this disease and bring normalcy to these areas,” said Aman.
He also warned people against sneaking out of the areas that were placed under lockdown in Mombasa and Nairobi after reports indicated that several people had sneaked out to neighbouring estates.
“We are aware that some people have sneaked out to neighbouring estates,” he said, “this is not good at all people it has a risk of spreading the virus.”
In Nairobi, people are said to have escaped from Eastleigh to South C, South B among others.
“We are appealing to people housing them to come out and report,” he said. Similar cases were reported in Mombasa.