Miraa and Mogoka business in Lamu County has been banned indefinitely following a directive by the Lamu County Commissioner (CC), Irungu Macharia.
Consequently, the CC ordered that no vehicles ferrying the two products will be allowed in the County from Thursday, 26th March, 2020.
This ban comes in the wake of a public outcry by local religious leaders that Miraa and Mogoka could be a conduit not only for harder drug abuse but also for easy transmission of the dreaded coronavirus.
His directive comes in the wake of Mandera, Wajir, Kerugoya and Garissa counties issuing similar directives towards Miraa and Mogoka which enjoys a huge market within the five counties.
Speaking to the press after a security meeting to strategize on the implementation of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 within the County, the County Commissioner who was flanked by the Lamu County Police Commander, Moses Muriithi, noted that the National and the County Government had put in place preventive measures to keep the virus at bay.
“We have also sought to move the Mkunguni market to Kibaki grounds which is a lot more spacious in comparison to the Lamu Fort grounds that have been in use by market traders, this is to avoid congestion and any likelihood to escalate the spread of Coronavirus in case of an outbreak,” the County Commissioner added.
He also urged members of the public to desist from spreading rumours on social media, noting that the LAPSSET project has been at the receiving end with distorted publicity in regards to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
CC further said that parents should ensure that their children stay at home to avoid any exposure to the virus.
Sentiments echoed by Lamu County Health Executive (CEC), Dr. Anne Gathoni, who said that the County Government was also urging members of the public to reduce travel during this period under threat by the coronavirus spread.
“There had been two suspected cases, which on testing the results came negative, and thus Lamu residents should be rest assured that the government is vigilant and will address testing cases on a need to need basis,” Dr. Gathoni, further revealed.
COVID-19 testing for suspected Lamu cases is currently being carried out in Nairobi due to lack of kits within the county.