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Korane urges foreigners in Dadaab to limit movement

Thursday March 19 2020
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Garissa Governor Ali Korane speaks to journalists on March 18, 2020. He expressed concerns over the constant movement of staff working with international agencies, mainly at Dadaab refugee complex, saying they risk contracting Covid-19 and spreading it. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRUHAN MAKONG

Garissa Governor Ali Korane has expressed concern over the staff working with international agencies, mainly at the Dadaab refugee complex, who constantly travel in and out of the country, saying they risk contracting the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and spreading it.

Dadaab is the world's third biggest refugee camp with at least 217,108 registered refugees and asylum seekers as at October 2019 according to the UNHCR.

Mr Korane now wants workers of international origin to stop non-essential travel in and out of the county as one of the preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19 which is wreaking havoc across the globe.

TRAVEL RISKY

"We are concerned about the staff of international agencies mainly in Dadaab who constantly travel in and out of the country. We feel that they are at a high risk of contracting the virus and passing it on," he said.

Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Korane also banned the sale of miraa in Garissa, a move earlier taken by Mandera and Wajir counties.

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The governor also said that a multi-sectoral county emergency response committee on the coronavirus has been established to coordinate preparedness and response activities.

RESPONSE TEAM

Mr Korane further said the county has already trained a rapid response team which will be ready to respond to any case which may arise in Garissa.

The governor directed the closure of all clubs and indoor football centres in a bid to combat spread of the virus which has already been reported in neighbouring Somalia.

He urged county employees to work from home except for those in charge of essential services and also asked residents to stay at home and avoid overcrowding.

Mr Korane said all travellers departing and arriving in Garissa, either by air or road, will be screened.

He further ordered a stop to hawking and selling of foodstuffs in open-air markets with immediate effect.

Kenya has so far reported seven cases of the coronavirus, raising fears of further spread of the virus.

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