Amason Kingi's county is on partial lockdown after he ordered the immediate closure of shops and industries dealing in non-essential goods and a ban on unnecessary movements to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The development comes in the wake of confirmation that his deputy governor, Gideon Saburi, tested positive for Covid-19.
Saburi is still in hospital. His driver has also tested positive for the virus.
“Only those shops that are dealing with essential commodities will remain open and shall strictly observe the hygiene standards already set and other safety measures as earlier communicated,” Kilifi County Governor Kingi said.
The governor aims to stop the spread of the virus in the wake of revelations that Saburi could have come into contact with more than 300 people during a Cabinet meeting, burial and wedding ceremonies he had attended after returning from a foreign trip.
“To the residents of Kilifi County, coronavirus is finally right here in Kilifi County. Apart from the one confirmed case, we don’t know who else is infected in our county.
“This calls for more stringent measures and self-discipline to effectively combat the spread of this virus and save our lives. You and I can stop the spread of this virus and save Kilifi County if we choose to do the right thing and follow all safety measures given to us,” he said.
Kilifi has also banned all bodaboda passenger services to effect the social distancing policy for Covid-19.
“They pose a challenge between the boda-boda rider and the pillion passenger thus posing a great risk of transmission of the Virus. However, boda-boda services can still be used for ferrying cargo and courier services,” he said.
Tuk Tuks have also been ordered to carry only one passenger at any one given moment and observe hygiene standards.
Kingi said the Kilifi County Coronavirus Emergency Response Team has directed all industries whose labour force ordinarily crowds in the course of duty at the workplace to be closed forthwith.
Hence, hotels and over 20 Export Processing Zones (EPZ) companies which have set up factories in the area have sent workers home.
About 8000 people work in the EPZ factories in the area.
The county also announced closure of all public gyms, play grounds, public recreation centres and cinemas with immediate effect.
The county has already ordered closure of all public hospitals for manageable medical cases except for the critical ones.
On Monday, the county discharged all in-patients who are out of danger with the “aim of decongesting the medical facilities and ensure safe distancing between patients”.
Panic has gripped leaders and residents with several individuals going on self-quarantine and others turning themselves into hospitals for Covid-19 tests after coming into contact with him after he returned from Germany.