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Kenyans face arrest for not wearing masks

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Government has instructed that everyone wear a mask in public places

INSPECTOR-General Hillary Mutyambai of the Kenyan police said the notice period for citizens to wear masks has ended and arrests will now take place, starting on Wednesday.

Kenya’s health ministry gazetted that anyone caught without a mask would be fined 20 000 Kenyan shillings (about R3 500) or face a six-month prison sentence.

As of April 15, Kenya had confirmed 216 cases of Covid-19, with 41 recoveries and nine deaths.

Public transport operators had previously requested that the government provide them with masks, citing high costs.

A single-use mask is retailing at 100 Kenyan shillings while an N95 mask retails for up to 1 500 Kenyan shillings.

The government has instructed that everyone wear a mask in public places and asked companies to assist with the production of masks.

The National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK) has requested that protective equipment be modified before it is distributed for health care workers who interact with coronavirus patients.

As the fight against Covid-19 intensifies, personal protective equipment (PPE) for people working within two metres of a Covid-19 patient has become a concern for health care workers globally and there has been a high demand for proper eye protection, surgical masks, aprons and gloves.

The association’s chairman, Alfred Obengo, visited a factory where protective gear is being manufactured and tweeted that he saw a few defects and ordered that they be rectified by Friday.

The official advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) has been clear since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Only two types of people are expected to wear masks: those who are infected and show symptoms, and those who treat patients suspected of having Covid-19.

Additionally, the Kenyan health ministry has been conducting public education about the correct usage of masks and how to remove them to ensure that there is no contamination.

– African News Agency (ANA)