Nyeri County residents have lauded the government for banning travel in and out of Nairobi saying the move would go a long way in stemming the increasing cases of Covid-19 infections.
The residents said the ban, although painful, was necessary since it would slow down the spread of the pandemic from Nairobi which has been declared an epicenter of the scourge to other counties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday imposed a three week ban on movement in and out of four counties which according to the Ministry of Health have recorded the highest number of infections.
In a televised address to the nation, the President stopped shy of declaring a full lock-down in the capital Nairobi, port city of Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties but warned of more drastic measures should the situation warrant.
Nyeri residents hailed the President for effecting the cessation of movement in the four hard hit counties by the infectious respiratory disease caused by coronavirus saying it came at a time when Kenyans were getting apprehensive over the government’s apparent in-action in taming the spread of the pandemic.
They said that although the ban would impact negatively to businesses and lead to loss of jobs, they were willing to sacrifice and go the long haul in assisting the government in its efforts to bring down the increasing cases of infections.
During an interview with KNA, a cross section of traders who will be weighed on heavily by the travel ban said they were willing to close their businesses temporarily in order to give the government latitude to fight the spread of the pandemic.
“This disease is lethal and if we are not careful and take the necessary precaution now, we will be decimated by it,” said Munene Maina, a hawker in Nyeri town.
Public Service Vehicles owners who ply the Nyeri-Nairobi route were among those hard hit by the travel ban with a number of vehicles by grounded this morning.
Mr. Kariuki Chege, a 2NK Sacco operator said they were at a loss and were brain storming to identify alternative routes for their vehicles.
He said they were toying with the idea of transferring their vehicles to routes serving satellite towns like Othaya and Karatina and other rural areas but expressed concerns that they could face stiff resistance from the operators on those routes.
Other businesses likely to suffer from the travel ban include small scale traders who source their merchandise from Nairobi.
Activities at the Nyeri bus terminus were a pale shadow of the norm as matatu operators and small scale traders came to terms with the President’s move but were unanimous that his action was necessary to save the country from the pandemic.
By Kiamah Wamutitu