An imam spread corona in Eastleigh until he died last month.

An imam with the coronavirus kept spreading it in Eastleigh, Nairobi until he died last month.

The cleric, who lived in the area, had tested positive for Covid-19 and died on April 16. He was buried the same day.

Despite knowing his status, the Imam continued praying in mosques and visiting different houses.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said:

This was a reckless and irresponsible act by the imam.

Kagwe on Tuesday said 29 new cases were from Nairobi and all of them from Eastleigh.  This raised the total number of confirmed cases in Eastleigh to 63, making it a hotspot in Nairobi.

The surge in Eastleigh numbers was recorded after residents turned up in large numbers for targeted mass testing, MoH acting director-general Patrick Amoth said.

Most shops are still open.

Although Eastleigh Business Community secretary general Omar Hussein had announced the closure of businesses, a spot check yesterday showed that most shops were open.

With about 350,000 people, Easleigh is as busy as pre-corona days. Food stands, clothing stores, and electronics shops were operational yesterday, with shoppers not wearing masks and making nonsense of social distancing requirements.

Business as usual.

Women in hijabs were chattering on their phones, while men sat on plastic chairs outside local restaurants, drinking black tea.

Eastleigh is mainly occupied by Somalis and has become a vibrant commercial centre.

Yesterday, Kagwe warned of drastic action unless residents observed government regulations.

Kagwe said:

We will simply cancel licences and close the shops and restaurants.

Kenya has not conducted enough Covid-19 tests to ease containment measures against the disease, experts say.

The number of positive cases in the country as of yesterday was 535 after the Ministry of Health confirmed 45 new cases.

The total number of tests conducted since the first case is 25,869. Several experts warned that this number is too low to support policy decisions such as reopening of restaurants and schools.

Veteran public health expert Richard Ayah said:

The last four days confirm that we have yet to reach the level of testing that policymakers can use this kind of data to make decisions on the spread of Covid-19.

More new cases are being reported since the ministry launched expanded testing exercise in Nairobi’s Kawangware estate last week.

On Saturday, 24 cases were reported countrywide, Sunday 30 cases and 25 on Monday.

Dr Ayah, who is also the director of the University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park added:

The rise in positive cases in tandem with the rise in the number of tests confirms that we have been under-testing and likely there are many more people with the disease than the ones reported.

Yesterday, CS Kagwe threatened to close for six months restaurants that were opened last week for flouting the rules.

He said:

As to whether we will roll back and close them again is a measure that is always on the table. There is nothing that is not on the table. But we are trying as much as we can to ensure that that is not what we do.

Experts said the reported number of new infection may increase as the government expands targeted testing in high-risk areas.

Dr Nanyingi Mark from UK’s University of Liverpool:

What we’re witnessing is sustained community spread among people who are at high risk.

He said people in slums and densely populated estates in major urban centres are at most risk because they can hardly practise the required public health measures.

He said:

For instance, those in slums may not practise social distancing and proper hygiene.

Currently, Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate has 63 infections, Kawangware 24 and Mombasa Old Town 39.

(H/T The Star)

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