Kenyan Counties of Mandera and Wajir have temporarily banned the sale and transportation of miraa to prevent possible spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi made the announcement on Tuesday following a similar decision by his Mandera counterpart Ali Roba.

Addressing journalists in Wajir town, the governor directed the county security team to ensure that the ban is enforced.

The traders said the crop is an important economic activity and the ban was affecting livelihoods in the region.

The angry demonstrators barricaded roads leading into Mandera town by burning tyres and blocking the Mandera-Nairobi highway.

Police tear-gassed protesters with one person injured in the skirmishes that police managed to contain.

The ban has been effected in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera with Bula Hawa in Somalia also banning the sale of the twig.

Kenya has so far reported seven confirmed coronavirus cases while globally, more than 300,000 people have been affected with an excess of 13,000 dying of the virus which first broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

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