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Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai addressing the media outside his office. Photo Bell Pere

Masai Mara Game Reserve closed over COVID-19

BY BEN LESHAU

The Narok County government has temporarily closed the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve after a worker at one hotel came in contact with a COVID-19 patient.
Making the announcement yesterday, area Governor Samuel Tunai who addressed Journalists at his office said the Mara Triangle will close for 14 days until the status of seven people who came in contact with the suspect is confirmed.
“Because of the seven suspected cases, operations in the Mara Triangle have been suspended in order to protect tourists, workers at various
lodges as well as the local community from the virus,” said the governor.
Mr Tunai who chairs the Tourism committee at the Council of
Governors  also revealed that tourism in the country will suffer after
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the ban on international flights to and from from Europe.
Despite Narok recording zero confirmed Corona virus cases, authorities revealed that they were investigating eight cases among them a female pastor who travelled from Sweden and freely interacted with the public defying the 14-day quarantine period.
The other six cases in self-quarantine are said to have travelled in one vehicle with a South African who works at a hotel in Mara and whose father visited him recently before testing positive for the virus.
To curb the spread of the virus in the county, Governor Tunai and the County Corona emergency response team led by area County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti have ordered the closure of all livestock markets.
Governor Tunai has also announced waiver of all water bills in all urban centers in the county to ensure that locals get access to clean water for hand washing as well as for domestic use.
After ordering the closure of the markets last week, livestock traders defied the directive and continued with their trade as usual.
Kimiti affirmed that the county security team will be firm in enforcing the directive by arresting and prosecuting those ignoring it.
“We shall enforce all the directives and I will dispatch a contingent of security personnel to ensure that the law is observed. We cannot be having people joking with this dangerous disease,” said the
administrator.

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