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Joho makes u-turn on forced Covid-19 testing after public backlash

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has taken back his words following a major backlash for declaring that more than 28,000 residents in Mombasa’s Old Town will undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests.

Joho on Saturday threatened the residents with forceful testing for Covid-19 after only a handful showed up during a free government mass testing.

FORCED TESTING

His threats attracted an uproar from residents and a section of leaders in the coastal county, forcing him to tone down and state that no resident will be forced to undergo the tests but instead the county will support those who turn positive.

Joho further appealed to the residents to support efforts to contain the virus, saying the national government was acting in the interest of its citizens.

“We’ll not let you down. If you are positive, we will support you,” said Joho.

Joho, who joined a voluntary public mass testing exercise accompanied by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo, promised to address concerns raised by residents especially regarding conditions in quarantine centres.

QUARANTINE

“Do not be afraid of quarantine, the public health officials will look from where you come from before you are taken to quarantine. Our facilities are also friendly,” he said.

Nyali MP Mohammed Ali and Mombasa Senator Mohammed Faki are some of the leaders in the region who opposed Joho’s planned forceful mass testing, saying residents need to be counselled before they are tested.

As of Monday, Mombasa had recorded a total of 158 positive cases, making it the second most affected county after Nairobi.

Old Town area bears the heaviest burden of Covid-19 cases in Mombasa commanding an assailable lead of 48 positive cases and seven deaths.

A total of 13 people have succumbed to Covid-19 in Mombasa out of 24 deaths recorded nationwide.