There has been a surge in bus travel as more Kenyans travel upcountry seeking refuge in their rural homes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Online bus ticketing firm QuickBus says over the past three weeks bookings on the platform have grown 40 per cent compared to last months, with majority of travelers fleeing the city.
Last Friday, Kenya confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, causing the shilling to weaken. The cases have since jumped to seven.
QuickBus director of growth, Jefferson Aluda said the surge has been a result of panic on the spread of COVID-19, as well as students returning home following the governments directive that all schools be closed to avoid spread of the disease.
“The main routes we have seen a surge include Mombasa, Meru, Kisumu, Busia and Kakamega,” he said
The firm that entered the Kenyan market in January, already has more than 50,000 active users of their ticketing system.
It has signed up transport firms such as Greenline Limited, Trinity Express and Imani Coach.
In a move aimed at containing spread of the coronavirus, the government suspended all public gatherings in the country and closed all schools while public and private businesses have been asked to work from home.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe also directed that all people coming arriving from countries reporting the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 10,000 lives globally self-quarantine for 14 days.
“We hope that everything comes back to normal as soon as possible, should you travel, take good care of yourself, in terms of sanitizing and following instructions from experts,” he added.
Reckitt Benckiser – makers of Dettol – marketing manager for Africa expansion Trezah Kinoru said, in case you are travelling, avoid over –crowded places and sanitize your surfaces.
“Avoid touching your face, wash your hands, we can never over emphasize on that, sanitize your surfaces, disinfect your clothes, and remember good health is all in your hands,” she cautioned.
There have been over 10,000 deaths reported globally, with about 247, 000 infections and a recovery of more than 88, 000 people.