SOCIAL DISTANCING IMPOSSIBLE

People need to look beautiful in this crisis - Kinyozi

Service providers say they have to money for rent, food and other necessities

In Summary

• A spot check by the Star found many barbers have defied the orders on social distancing and offer services.

• Most do not offer sanitisers or soap for hand washing to clients. 

A client attended to in a barbershop
NO SOCIAL DISTANCE: A client attended to in a barbershop
Image: FILE

You can't cut hair or braid it or give a facial from two meters away. Social distancing doesn't work in barbershops and hair salons.

Business for Nairobi barbers, hair salons and beauty salons is still brisk despite a government directive for social distancing to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. 

A spot check by the Star found that most barbers in poor areas have defied the orders and offer services. Few offer sanitisers or soap for handwashing to clients.

And barbers in five-star hotels? 

"Where do you expect me to get rent, food and money? Will the government feed me as they do in developed countries?" Andrew Ochieng asked the Star in Kawangware informal settlement.

Ochieng said he does not have the time or money to buy face masks and sanitisers. The government should provide the essentials to its citizens from the World Health Organization money, he said.

"The WHO gave the government Sh7 billion and you expect me to buy sanitiser," he said.

Banning international flights is what will aid curb this menace, people still need to look beautiful even in crisis.
David Mwaniki, hair locks specialist 

A salon businesswoman from Kibera told the Star that her job and the virus are two different things.

"I believe for sure that there is no coronavirus in Kenya," she said.

The Health ministry has set rules and guidelines, including the number of those visiting supermarkets at a givento contain the spread of the virus.

Kenya has 15 Covid-19 patients.  All are undergoing treatment at government facilities.  

All the patients came from foreign destinations, forcing the government to suspend all international flights starting Wednesday.

David Mwaniki, a hair locks specialist, said they are open to serve clients and make money because they live from hand to mouth. 

"I believe banning international flights is what will aid curb this menace, people still need to look beautiful even in crisis," he said. 

(edited by o. owino)