Virus sneaks into villages beyond Nairobi region aided by the sneaky middle-class

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 21 Apr, 2020 09:31 | 2 mins read
coronavirus infographic
Health CS blames reckless behavior for the spread of deadly virus from Nairobi to rural areas. INFOGRAPHIC | MICHAEL MOSOTA

The coronavirus disease is no longer confined in Nairobi. The dreaded deadly disease has made its way into villages beyond the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

The movement of the disease to faraway villages across the country has been linked to the failure by Kenyans, especially the middle-class, to observe government guidelines meant to contain Covid-19.

Projections by the Ministry of Health on Monday painted a gloomy picture after it emerged that apart from spreading to villages and estates in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties, Covid-19 has hit rural areas, having been confirmed in Murang’a County.

There was also bad news from Coast after the biggest number of victims from the region in a single day was confirmed in Mombasa with seven of the 11 cases announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Monday.

The Health CS warned that Kenyans’ stubbornness and failure to change their attitude could cost the country dearly in the coming days.

Covid-19 has so far infected 281 people in the country with 14 fatalities and 198 active cases.

“I want to make a special appeal to the people in the counties of Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Murang’a. As Nairobi Metropolitan counties, you have a special responsibility to guard against the spread of coronavirus from Nairobi county. Already, a number of your residents have contracted the virus, and we have isolated them for treatment,” Kagwe said. “We are talking about people just going round without wearing masks. These are the results that we are getting from these shortfalls,” Mr. Kagwe said.

Cunning Kenyans have devised ways to beat State regulations on the ban of movement in and out of the metropolis, including faking funerals as well as holding inhouse drinking parties against social gathering warnings, frustrating government efforts to contain the virus spread.

The CS said a case had been reported in Ting’ang’a village, a rural area in Kiambu that is out of the Nairobi metropolis, but where some residents, who have been accusing the government of being insensitive by locking them out of the metropolis, have refused to adhere to health protocols.

Kiambu, where dozens of people have been nabbed having locked themselves in clubs and holding drinking parties, has also recorded a case in Thindigua, a fastgrowing residential suburb on Kiambu road, which hosts thousands of middle-class occupants.

Other cases were confirmed in the densely-populated Githurai 45, raising concerns over the safety of the habitats, while Waithaka in Kikuyu, Ndongoru in Kabete as well as Watalamu in Ruiru subcounty, which are typical villages and where residents have been faulting government’s directives, recorded cases.

Despite Murang’a having blocked the entry and exit of people from Nairobi over a fortnight ago, two cases have been reported in Gatanga and Lumumba Drive, highlighting the possibility of the virus having been passed on to more people in the area.

In Machakos, seven cases have been confirmed so far; two in Syokimau, a fast-growing residential suburb that has attracted mostly the middle-class, while Athi River, Kamulu, Rubi Garden estate, Kithunguni and Viraji have reported one case each.