The security machinery, have mounted at least 11 roadblocks to stop any form of movement into and out of the area.

The area, which is at the heart of a complex network of trade connecting Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Somalia and East Africa, turns over Sh10 billion a month.

A good chunk of the rice, electronics, cooking oil, bar soap, sugar, textiles and spaghetti consumed in Kenya and beyond passes through Eastleigh.

The government stopped all forms of trade and movement in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The neighborhood has been turned into a ghost town. The streets remained empty as the General Service Unit was deployed for the first time to deal with the coronavirus situation.

A crack unit comprising officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the intelligence service was deployed to trace those who had made contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

There are indications that this number could rise to more than 1,000 by the end of the weekend. The government expressed concern over a large number of residents who escaped on Wednesday night to their relatives in South B and South C estates.

Roadblocks were mounted near Rikana Supermarket and at St Theresa along First Avenue. The road links Eastleigh with Shauri Moyo, Makongeni and Pangani. Along General Waruinge Street, roadblocks were placed at Kariokor Roundabout, Pumwani Maternity and Madina Mall Roundabouts. Riots broke out in some areas, forcing the GSU to use tear gas cannons.

Expectant mothers going to Pumwani Maternity were forced to show their medical documents while those who said they were visiting their patients were not allowed.

In Mombasa’s Old Town, five residents who had tested positive escaped before the lockdown was effected.

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