Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has urged Old Town residents in the coastal city of Mombasa to respect the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown in the area introduced to stem the spread of the virus.
Old Town has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the coastal city forcing the authorities to impose strict restrictions to curb further spread of the viral disease.
Elungata said following the advice to stay at home, wearing facemasks and washing hands regularly with soap would stop people from getting infected with the coronavirus.
Since the unprecedented shutdown began police are patrolling deserted roads and the narrow streets of the ancient old town to keep people inside their residential houses.
Elungata said residents should be vigilant and ensure that they do not venture out unnecessarily to bring down the infection rate in the area, which has been declared as a covid-19 hotspot.
Speaking on Saturday at the Swahilipot when he toured the area, Elungata said the 15-day restrictions announced by the Ministry of Health is meant to curb further spread of the pandemic and not a communal punishment.
He said police will deal firmly with individuals who are determined to flout the health rules.
The administrator said once the coronavirus disease eases in the area the restrictions will be lifted but added this dependents on how the residents react to the lockdown and ensure there are no resurgent of cases.
He said residents should avoid leaving their homes unless it was necessary to do so noting that essential services will be operating.
Mombasa Red Cross chairman Mahmoud Noor appealed to residents follow the public health directives.
Noor said the quarantine and lockdown measures are temporary steps to contain the virus which needs the support of everyone to bear fruit.
He said people should not fear to be taken to coronavirus quarantine centres saying living conditions are not as bad as is being depicted in social media.
Noor said the Mombasa county government is also paying for the bills incurred during the 14 days quarantine periods and asked residents to embrace the measures.
He said pictures on social media of poor living conditions in the quarantine facilities were misleading.
The Red Cross official urged all to keep observing the basic precautionary measures that will help minimise the spread of the virus as well as protects oneself from being infected with covid-19.
Community leaders who spoke at the brief event said although they appreciate the health measures aimed at protecting people from infections, the blockade was done abruptly.
By Hussein Abdullahi