We will test all Old Town residents for COVID-19,Joho

Governor Joho with Coast General CEO Iqbal Khandwala during the unveiling of the new medical equipment to aid in the fight against COVID-19./ The governor has said that the county intends to test every Old Town resident COURTESY

Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho has said that the county is targeting to test every resident of Old Town in Mvita Sub-county for COVID-19.

This comes just a day after mass testing kicked off in the area that has been named as the epicenter of the virus in the county.

READ ALSO: Mombasa’s Old Town emerging as a COVID-19 hotspot

Speaking during a media address on Friday morning, the governor said so far the mass testing exercise has tested 58 people on the first day.

“ We are hoping to test everyone in the area, even they do not show up at the testing centers, we will look for a way to follow them up for testing because that’s the only way we can know which areas are epicenters in order to formulate essential policies to fight COVID-19,” Joho said.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 cases to rise as mass testing begins in Mombasa’s Oldtown

Over the past four days, more than 20 people have tested positive for the disease in the densely populated neighborhood which is adjacent to the equally densely populated Marikiti market.

This comes two weeks after the Kenya Ports Authority rolled out a mass testing exercise for its employees with 30 of them testing positive.

The number of positive cases in the county now stands at 113 after seven more people tested positive on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Five more test positive for COVID-19 in Mombasa, herbalist among new cases

Joho who blamed the surge in the number of positive cases in Old Town to recklessness and people not adhering to regulations set to protect themselves from contracting the disease added that the mass testing exercise would move to any other neighborhood where the number of positive cases will surge.

Though it is not yet clear when the disease was first detected in the neighborhood, last week, renowned herbalist Mohamed bin Hassan, popularly known as Shariff Mwinyi Karama succumbed to the virus before being buried under strict police supervision at the Kikowani Muslim cemetery.

Karama is believed to have contracted the disease from a patient he had tried to treat.

A day after he was buried, three of his close contacts tested positive for the disease.

This comes just a day after all the COVID-19 cases in neighboring Kilifi County recovered and were discharged according to the Kilifi governor Amason Kingi.