Shopping malls fight to protect clients amid COVID-19

Shopping malls in the Nairobi have rolled out plans to limit coronavirus exposure to visitors and ensure businesses remain afloat.

This, even as the government asks members of the public to limit unnecessary movement after the country announced the first case of coronavirus on Friday.

This limited movement has already started affecting traffic to malls as parking lots and children play areas remained empty. Ordinarily, Two Rivers Mall is busy and by midday that shoppers often take many trips around the lot to find a parking spot.

Most restaurants had a handful of people during lunch hours while playgrounds were almost empty. A few shoppers covered their faces with masks as they moved around.

“The mall was very busy yesterday (Friday). Today, the numbers are very low. People are avoiding going out,” a security guard at the mall said.

A number of supermarkets remained busy with toilet paper and hand sanitizers being the most sought after items.

In fact, Tuskys at New Muthaiga had run out of hand sanitizers by midday on Saturday while Carrefour allowed shoppers only up to two bottles of the product.

The confirmation of coronavirus case in the country is a big blow to shopping malls which continue to grapple with low traffic.

Most malls in the city have been forced to cut rent and offer hefty discounts to attract tenants.