Markets Closures in Covid-19 Prevention and Control

Markets Closures in Covid-19 Prevention and Control

By Collins Omollo, Richard Ayah

Kenya reported its first case of Covid-19 disease on 12th March 2020. According to Ministry of Health (MOH) data, 42 cases have so far been confirmed with one recovered case reported on 26th March 2020. The demographic data available so far indicate that the youngest patient is 20 years old while the oldest is 67 years of age. Of the confirmed cases, 24 are male while 18 are female. Five counties had confirmed cases,  Nairobi (31), Kilifi (6), Mombasa (3), Kajiado (1) and Kwale (1).

Kenya has a fiscally devolved two tier health system with primary responsibility for delivering primary and secondary health services falling to the counties. However, the national government through a National  Emergency Response Committee on Corona virus lead by the MOH has taken on the responsibility of leading the Covid-19 disease prevention and control strategies. Nevertheless the counties still have a major role to play in implementation.  Among the strategies counties have implemented is around improving sanitation in markets. Interventions include fumigation, providing hand washing facilities, moving and closing markets (table 1).  Other than closing of markets, none of the other interventions directly impacts COVID-19 spread, as they still allow people to congregate closely with each other.

Table 1: Counties shutting down markets as part of COVID-19 Response

 CountiesActionDate
 1.NandiAll open air markets closed16/03/2020
 2.KakamegaMarkets closed16/03/2020
 3.VihigaMarkets closed18/03/2020
 4.KiambuProvide handwashing facilities in markets 
 5.KisumuAll open air markets closed.22/03/2020
 6.Taita TavetaVoi market closed21/03/2020
 7.Lamu/Wajir/GarissaMiraa and Mogoka Markets banned 
 8.KajiadoMarkets closed18/03/2020
 9.MurangaFumigate open air markets 
 10.ManderaMiraa market banned 
 11.KwaleMarkets closed24/03/2020
 12MachakosMarkets closed24/03/2020
 13.KirinyagaProvide Hand washing facilities 
 14.NairobiFumigation of major markets 
 15.BusiaSoko posta closed23/03/2020
 16.MarsabitMiraa, livestock markets banned 
 17.KisiiAll open air markets closed17/03/2020
 18.MeruCancelled official market days23/03/2020
 19.BungomaAll markets closed23/03/2020
 20.MombasaKongowea market moved to Tononoka stadium20/03/2020
 21.KilifiTezo Open air markets closed16/03/2020
 22.NyandaruaOl Kalau market closed25/03/2020
 23.Uasin GishuMarkets closed23/03/2020
24.KisumuTraders open ‘corona market’ along Kondele-Nairobi road29/03/2020
Source; various media outlets

Under the Fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, regulation of markets is a function of the county governments while the National government is in-charge of health policy formulation. A lack of coordination between what counties are doing and the National Emergency Response Committee in enforcing social distancing may explain these haphazard responses. There needs to be harmonized response early if COVID-19 pandemic is to be contained. One of the innovative ways that has been used to enforce social distancing in markets in Andhra Pradesh, India is the marking of squares two meters apart. This ensures that citizens maintain a distance from each other as they buy items. The National Emergency Response Committee and County governments should work together to see how this model can be domesticated in Kenya.

References

1.        Health and Sanitation – County Government Of Nandi [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 25]. Available from: https://nandicounty.go.ke/news-category/health-and-sanitation/

2.        Capital News. Kakamega shuts mortuaries and markets to manage crowds in wake of coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2020/03/kakamega-shuts-mortuaries-and-markets-to-manage-crowds-in-wake-of-coronavirus/

3.        Citizentv.co.ke. Coronavirus: Vihiga residents asked to pick their dead from county mortuary free of charge, bury immediately [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/coronavirus-vihiga-residents-asked-to-pick-their-dead-from-county-mortuary-free-of-charge-bury-immediately-326985/

4.        Citizentv.co.ke. More counties close nightclubs, markets over coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/more-counties-close-nightclubs-markets-over-coronavirus-326800/

5.        Daily Nation. Kisumu market closed amid coronavirus fears – Daily Nation [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.nation.co.ke/counties/kisumu/Kisumu-market-closed-amid-coronavirus-fears/1954182-5500490-nuac4b/index.html

6.        Daily Nation 21/03/2020. Traders stranded at Voi market after the County closed it to combat coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 25]. Available from: https://www.nation.co.ke/video/news/4146788-5499326-1kiv0c/index.html

7.        KBC. Miraa and Mogoka trade banned in Lamu over Coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kbc.co.ke/miraa-and-mogoka-trade-banned-in-lamu-over-coronavirus/

8.        KBC. Bars, markets in Kajiado closed to curb spread of Coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kbc.co.ke/bars-markets-in-kajiado-closed-to-curb-spread-of-coronavirus/

9.        KBC. 29 people put under forced quarantine in Murang’a County [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kbc.co.ke/29-people-put-under-forced-quarantine-in-muranga-county/

10.      Kenyans.co.ke. Governor Bans Sale of Miraa Over Coronavirus Fears [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/50903-governor-issues-temporary-ban-sale-miraa

11.      KNA. Open air markets closed as Kwale reports one coronavirus case [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/open-air-markets-closed-as-kwale-reports-one-coronavirus-case/

12.      KNA. Traders back county government move to combat the spread of Covid-19 [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/traders-back-county-government-move-to-combat-the-spread-of-covid-19/

13.      KNA. Kirinyaga County sets up isolation ward, trains personnel on coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/kirinyaga-county-sets-up-isolation-ward-trains-personnel-on-coronavirus/

14.      Nairobi News. Coronavirus: City Market to remain closed for more days – VIDEO [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 25]. Available from: https://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/editors-picks/coronavirus-city-market-to-remain-closed-for-more-days

15.      The Standard. Market now closed to stop spread of disease [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001365393/market-now-closed-to-stop-spread-of-disease

16.      The Standard. Counties ban miraa as Ethiopia closes border over virus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001365551/counties-ban-miraa-as-ethiopia-closes-border-over-virus

17.      The standard 17/03/2020. Ongwae shuts busy Daraja Mbili market over coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 25]. Available from: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001364649/ongwae-shuts-busy-daraja-mbili-market-over-coronavirus

18.      The Star. Police and county askaris accused of not enforcing Kiraitu’s closure of markets and social places [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/eastern/2020-03-23-police-and-county-askaris-accused-of-not-enforcing-kiraitus-closure-of-markets-and-social-places/

19.      The Star. Wangamati orders burials to be done in 24 hours, bans market days [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/western/2020-03-23-wangamati-orders-burials-to-be-done-in-24-hours-bans-market-days/

20.      The Star. Kongowea market, churches, mosques shut in Mombasa [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/coast/2020-03-20-kongowea-market-churches-mosques-shut-in-mombasa/

21.      The Star. Traders blocked from accessing open-air market over coronavirus [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/coast/2020-03-17-traders-blocked-from-accessing-open-air-market-over-coronavirus/

22.      The Star. Fear of crime as two Ol Kalou markets closed [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/central/2020-03-25-fear-of-crime-as-two-ol-kalou-markets-closed/

23.      The Star. North Rift governors resolve to enforce anti-corona measures [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 26]. Available from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/rift-valley/2020-03-22-north-rift-governors-resolve-to-enforce-anti-corona-measures/

24.      Out goes Kibuye, in comes defiant ‘corona market’ : The Standard [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001366172/out-goes-kibuye-in-comes-defiant-corona-market

25. Coronavirus: Squares drawn at vegetable markets in Andhra Pradesh to ensure social distancing – Trending News News [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.indiatoday.in/trending-news/story/coronavirus-squares-drawn-at-vegetable-markets-in-andhra-pradesh-to-ensure-social-distancing-1659833-2020-03-26

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