Kilifi town has for the last three days been deserted after businesses, schools and Pwani University closed down in line with government directives to combat the dreaded coronavirus disease.
The students who make the town lively, started travelling to their rural homes on Monday and by today morning, most business premises including hotels, shops and cyber cafes at Kibaoni next to Pwani University premises had closed.
The town estates where most of the over 8,000 Pwani University students reside have been vacated as the few students remaining said they are waiting for money from their parents to book travel tickets.
At the upcountry bus booking offices in Kilifi, the attendants said they have been making a booming business for the past three days and that their vehicles are fully booked until Sunday 22, 2020.
The few businessmen and women interviewed by KNA said the coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected their business and hoped the situation will not last for more than one month.
“We are in a serious crisis as the business community of Kilifi town since we have lost all our customers for the past three days,” said a hotel manager Mr. Swaleh Athman at Kibaoni opposite Pwani University entrance.
He said he has been operating at a loss since most of his customers are students and that he would close his business tomorrow March 20, 2020 to await the outcome of the pandemic.
Mohammed Abdallah who operates a fish shop at Kibaoni said he has lost customers who are mainly women since the advent of reports of the coronavirus scourge and attributed it to panic that motivated them to shift to their rural homes.
“Unless the locals are assured of their lives to go back to work, the economy will be ruined completely after a month since businesses will come to a total standstill,” he said.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi Jefwa on Monday ordered the shutdown of bars and restaurants and suspended burials and weddings, saying only a few close relatives should be involved in such ceremonies.
By Harrison Yeri