Five people who tested positive for coronavirus in Mombasa Old Town fled with their families to an unidentified location, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has said.
The five, whose identities were not disclosed, were among the last group of 65 people to be tested for the novel coronavirus in the area in the weekend.
Joho on Thursday warned that legal action will be taken against them when they are found and apprehended.
“Five people who tested positive have gone into hiding instead of coming to our facilities. Who are you helping? What this means is that you have put even more of your relatives at risk,” said Joho.
The governor appealed to the five families to return warning that they will be pursued should they not heed the call.
“What they are doing is deliberately spreading the disease. They will be dealt with,” he added.
Addressing journalists flanked by county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo and other members of the county’s Covid-19 response team, Joho said police have launched a manhunt for the five.
According to the governor, all the missing families come from Sijara in Bondeni, where a herbalist who died from the virus also lived.
Immediately Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced the cessation of movement in Old Town, police were deployed to all the alleys and main roads leading into and out of the area to effect the lockdown.
Kitiyo intimated the lockdown was not a punishment to the residents, but a measure to control and stop the spread of the deadly virus in the area.
“Please take note that both the national and county governments have no ill intentions. It is designed to ensure the disease does not spread,” Kitiyo said even as he admitted that some Old Town residents fled after the lockdown was announced.
Similarly, Haki Africa Director Hussein Khalid shared hotline numbers 0755000555 and 0100001001 to help people from Old Town who will be in distress.