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Mutahi Kagwe warns of total lock-down if coronavirus escalates

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has warned Kenyans that a total lockdown of the country is a possibility if coronavirus cases escalate.

The Health CS, while reiterating that every Kenyan must ensure that they constantly wash their hands with soap and water and maintain high hygiene standards as advised by the government, said a total lockdown was on the table.

“Total lockdown is always on the table, depending on how we see the progress, on how we monitor the situations with the Ministry of Interior to see how and to what extent the public is following the guidelines that we have given. At the point that we think that the danger is enhanced, then the committee will debate and take the necessary steps,” he said.

He urged Kenyans to limit social interactions, noting that they were working with the CS for Water Sicily Kariuki on setting up free water points around the country.

He said the government had a team from the Ministry of Health and NYS that will work in slum areas, educating citizens and raising awareness on the coronavirus.

Work in slum areas

“One way to bring down the cost of sanitisers is by buying soap and washing your hands. The demand of sanitisers will go down…We are asking the Ministry of Water to understand in cases where bills have not been paid…to open those taps, we will deal with bills later,” said Mr Kagwe.

Kenya has joined a growing list of African countries that have confirmed coronavirus cases. According to the latest data, 30 countries have confirmed cases.

Over 6,000 people have died globally and thousands have been infected. The virus emanated from China’s Wuhan province.

Across the globe, major cities have shut down in order to reduce the spread of the deadly virus.

Schools across the country have been shut, some bars and clubs have also followed suit by shutting their doors, and some restaurants are being restricted to takeout or deliveries only.

Italy, one of the most affected countries, is approaching its first full week of a near-total shutdown while Spain is following suit.

Last weekend, they barred people from leaving their homes except to go to the grocery store or pharmacy.

French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered a complete shutdown of the country for 15 days starting midday Tuesday, banning all non-essential trips or social contacts and warning violations would be “punished”.