Heavy security presence in and around Eastleigh as lockdown takes effect
Eastleigh has been cut off from the rest of Nairobi after police moved in and installed roadblocks strategically to enforce a 15-day cessation of movement into and out of the urban area.
Many residents of the expansive estate on Thursday morning woke up to the reality of the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the rapid spread coronavirus in Eastleigh which has been marked as a hotspot for Covid-19 infections.
Police are using all methods necessary to make sure the government’s directive is followed.
Police trucks manned by armed police have been placed along General Waruinge road at the Pumwani Maternity roundabout, Eastleigh North, South and Moi Airbase.
“Our foremost mandate as Government is to protect the lives of Kenyans. In light of this and due to a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Eastleigh and Old Town, Mombasa, we have ordered cessation of movement in and out of these areas for 15 days to curb the spread of the virus,” the government said on Wednesday.
Speaking to Nairobi News, some residents wondered why the government was punishing everyone for the sins of a few people.
“I am not a Muslim, I do not go to a Mosque, our churches were closed and followed what the government said, now we are here for the next 15 days. How will we survive?” said one of the residents.
There are also reports that some area residents packed up and left the estate in Wednesday afternoon soon after the government announced the lockdown.
“As soon as they announced it, it was a beehive of activity as people scrambled to get out. Some said the government will not make them stay in one place,” one resident said.
Some residents believe there is more to the containment directive than the coronavirus.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday said 29 new cases were from Nairobi and all of them from Eastleigh.
This raised the total number of confirmed cases in Eastleigh to 63, making it a hotspot in Nairobi.
The surge in Eastleigh numbers was recorded after residents turned up in large numbers for targeted mass testing, MoH acting director-general Patrick Amoth said.
According to the government, an imam with the coronavirus kept spreading it in Eastleigh until he died last month.
The cleric, who lived in the area, had tested positive for Covid-19 and died on April 16. He was buried the same day.
Despite knowing his status, the Imam continued praying in mosques and visiting different houses.