The Health Ministry has directed Kenyans to wear face masks when going out for shopping in open areas including supermarkets as well as open-air markets.
In a press briefing on Saturday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said this will help to control the transmission of coronavirus.
“We are urging any person visiting a supermarket or open-air market to begin wearing protective masks immediately,” said Kagwe.
This comes a day after the US government advised citizens to start wearing non-medical masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The new guidelines recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were conveyed by President Trump on Friday.
On Friday, Trade and Industrialization CS Betty Maina said the government had signed a deal with four Kenyan textile companies to produce 60 million face masks to help in the fight against the pandemic. CS Maina said the masks will be sold to Kenyan for as low as Sh5 per piece.
She noted that the locally produced masks contain three layers; an outer layer, a filter, and an inner layer, and have clinically been approved for use by everyone including health workers.
In addition, CS Maina said the factories will produce protective suits that are disposable for use by medics.
On Thursday, the government also ordered all users of public transport to wear masks as part of the measures to stem the spread of the virus with Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warning of a rise in the number of infections.
“This number I must say is going to rise and rise exponentially. It is important to note that the virus does not move by itself..we must change our behaviors and attitude..,” said Kagwe.
On Saturday, Kenya confirmed four additional cases of Covid-19 raising the number of infections to 126. Four people have recovered while four others have succumbed to the virus.