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Reasons several Kenyans won’t stop using face masks

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By Judith Gicobi

The government may have relaxed Covid-19 containment restrictions by eliminating the mask requirement, but some Kenyans prefer to wear them when they leave their homes since it helps them feel protected.

They claim that, in addition to avoiding the coronavirus, the face masks protect them from dust and airborne infections.

A day after the Ministry of Health relaxed Covid-19 management restrictions, a local daily conducted a random check and discovered that many Kenyans, particularly those working in public locations, hospital visitors, and food sellers, continue to wear masks.

It was also discovered that food vendors on the streets and in kiosks have continued to wear masks, while others continue to carry hand sanitizers that they frequently use.

Ms Halima Wario, who was caring for an ill toddler in Tana River, hailed the government’s decision to abolish the prohibition but stressed an individual’s safety was an individual choice. She stated that she will continue to use face masks in public areas like hospitals and marketplaces.

A handful of citizens in Kisii and Kisumu continue to wear masks in public.

Some traders in face masks, like Lydia Kemunto, claimed the new regulation issued by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe took them by a surprise.

Kemunto, who was wearing a face mask, claimed that on a good day, she might sell at least 200 face masks for Sh10 apiece, earning roughly Sh2, 000 each day.

“I wish the government had alerted us one month earlier that it was going to do away with wearing face masks in public spaces. I know of a distributor who recently received a huge consignment of face masks. Where will he take them now?” wondered Kemunto.

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A businessman in Kisii town, James Oyieyo, was still wearing a face mask to “protect himself from various allergies.”

Mr. Oyieyo claimed that wearing a mask protected him against Covid-19, flu, and the common cold, as well as dust.

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