Covid-19: Garissa County closes key livestock market

Wednesday May 13 2020
pastoralistspic

Camels drinking water: Wajir's confirmed Covid-19 cases hail from Garissa, and had gone to Mogadishu for a livestock trade trip. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRUHAN MAKONG
By FARHIYA HUSSEIN

The county government of Garissa has announced the immediate closure of the Dagahley Livestock market in Dadaab Sub-county following confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wajir County and neighbouring Somalia.

The move comes just a day after Wajir closed both Diff and Dagahaley livestock markets due to their proximity to the border with Somalia.

On Friday, Wajir County reported two confirmed cases of Covid-19 who had a history of travel to Somalia. Both cases hail from Garissa and had gone to Mogadishu for a livestock trade trip before being intercepted at Diff on their way back to the country.

“Due to the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wajir County and neighbouring Somalia, we have decided it is for the betterment of the health of our residents to close down the largest livestock market,” said Garissa County Executive for Health Ahmednadhir Omar.

“The traders are known to move across the border to Somalia to get stocks, this poses a risk of transmission from both human and the procured livestock.”

The CEC said the closure was pursuant to the provision of Public Health CAP 242 that requires health authorities to put in place necessary measures to control the pandemic.

Garissa is yet to confirm any Covid-19 cases.

Wajir CEC for Health, Ismail Sheikh, said the tests for the recently confirmed cases were carried out at the regional laboratory, bringing the total number of tests conducted in the devolved unit to 25.

“The commissioning of tests in our regional laboratory kicked off on April, 23, 2020. The second case is a 32-year-old Kenyan male from Garissa County, asymptomatic but in a stable condition,” said Mr Ismail.

“We have also intercepted four individuals on a similar return trip from Mogadishu for a livestock trade at Riba, Wajir East Sub-county and are currently in KMTC quarantine centre,” he added.

Earlier on, Garissa closed its borders connecting to neighbouring Isiolo and Wajir.