CONTAINING COVID-19

City Market to remain closed until Thursday for fumigation

Washing points have been stationed in city markets for traders to wash their hands

In Summary

• Traders in the premises welcomed the move observing that cleanliness and proper hygiene was the best approach to fight the spread of Covid-19.

• Fumigation and sensitization in open-air markets started on Saturday at Burma, Gikomba and parts of Muthurwa.

Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

Nairobi’s City Market will remain closed until Thursday as fumigation within the Central Business District and its environs enters its second week in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.

The traders had been notified on Monday to empty the stalls and leave them open to allow the fumigation exercise to take place.

County Health Executive Hitan Majevdia said the closure was to prevent the meat products and other items from coming into contact with chlorine; the chemical used in fumigation.

 
 

On Wednesday there will be a general cleaning as the traders prepare to resume their business on Thursday.

"Once they have complied and done the washing, the traders are free to re-open the market," Majevdia said.

Traders in the premises welcomed the move observing that cleanliness and proper hygiene was the best approach to fight the spread of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health has also placed hand washing points within the markets, urging traders to regularly wash their hands as well as asking their customers to follow suit.

City Market is known for selling meat products especially chicken, beef, fish and mutton.

A segment of the market also sells flowers and curio products.

Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The fumigation exercise is being done by the Public Health Department from Nairobi County Government in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

On Monday, the officers sprayed Wakulima Market, famously known as Marikiti and Muthurwa Market.

 
 

According to Nairobi County Health Deputy Director Wilson Langat, the exercise will be taking place in the morning hours to avoid intense interruption in the business flow.

"We have observed that in the early hours, not so many activities are taking place unlike during the day and we have decided to conduct fumigation in the morning hours," he said.

The exercise kicked off at 8.00 a.m and the county noted positive response from the traders.

"The traders were pleased that the Government was taking an initiative to curb the spread of Covid-19. They asked us to visit the markets more often until the virus is contained," Langat explained.

The fumigation exercise kicked off last week after the Ministry of Health donated 700 litres of chemicals (chlorine) for the exercise.

Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Fumigation around City Market by the Ministry of Health and County Government of Nairobi on MArch 24, 2020
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

Langat stated that the county has made another request for more chemicals so as to proceed with the process.

Despite water being a scarce commodity, various washing points had been stationed in the markets for traders to wash their hands with soap and water so as to observe proper hygiene.

Fumigation and sensitization in open-air markets started on Saturday at Burma, Gikomba and parts of Muthurwa.

In the CBD, Aga Khan Walk, General Post Office (GPO), public resting areas around Hilton Hotel and National Archives, Kencom Bus Stage, Jeevanjee Gardens, Hakati Road, Tom Mboya Stage, Muthurwa Market, Ronald Ngala Street, Mfangano Lane were also fumigated.

However, yesterday there was no free public screening within the CBD as the Public health Officers were awaiting for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

As measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Nairobi, more than 7,800 city residents have been voluntarily screened with the CBD between since last week.

"We had ordered for more PPE so that we have an additional number of health workers and volunteers assisting in the public screening.

Langat said screening for temperature was important since high fever is among the symptoms of the Covid-19 and with early detection, one can be treated.

"If high fever is detected early it does not mean one has contracted Covid-19 but will give a reason for one to be checked and treated. In a scenario where it is Covid-19 the hospital will advise further," he said.

Data from the office of the County Executive for Health indicate that at least 675 health workers from 200 health centres have been trained on preventive measures against Covid-19 in Nairobi County.

By last Friday, 3,000 community volunteers had been trained on the same.

The health workers and community volunteers are also sensitizing city residents in the wards on preventive measures against Covid-19.


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