COVID-19: Kilifi County orders closure of key manufacturing firms

Clothing factory in Kilifi. The Kilifi County Government has shut down key manufacturing and construction-related firms in the county./COURTESY

The county government of Kilifi on Wednesday ordered the closure, with immediate effect, of all key manufacturing and construction-related firms within the county, in continuing efforts to curb spread of the Corona virus.

In a letter signed by the County Secretary Jefwa Mkare, and addressed to all affected firms, the county noted that the ‘unfavorable decision and stringent measure’ was necessary and geared towards population de-congestion, as a key measure towards mitigating spread of the virus.

The affected firms include all Export Process Zones (EPZ), Mombasa Cement factory, Mabati Rolling Mills and all salt processing firms within the county.

Others also ordered to close, according to the letter are all sand harvesting, coral block cutting and all manganese quarries. Ballast quarries have also been asked to shut down.

“Please note that failure to abide by the directives aforementioned will lead to severe consequences which shall attract heavy sanctions including permanent closure of your business firms and prosecution,” the letter, read in part.

On Tuesday Kilifi was named alongside Mombasa, Kwale and Nairobi, as Coronavirus hotspots following cases that were reported and confirmed from these counties.

The directive to shut down the factories is latest in a series of precautionary measures taken to prevent further Covid-19 spread.

Other directives already in effect include closure of all bars and restaurants except for take-away services, and reduction of passenger numbers in all public service vehicles to enhance social distancing.

Kilifi County earlier banned bodaboda transport and restricted all tuktuks to only one passenger at a time. Bodaboda taxis were allowed to carry cargo only.

COVID-19: Kilifi County bans boda-boda transport

So far Kenya has recorded 25 Coronavirus cases, with government concerned about the spread and rumours about a looming countrywide lock-down.

Several politicians and leaders across the country have asked government to declare a lock-down, citing a care-free attitude by many Kenyans, that risks further spread of the deadly virus.