*Sex workers in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa claim the novel coronavirus outbreak has greatly impacted their work. As such, they have petitioned the government to list them as essential service providers.
According to Daily Nation, these women claim they’re unable to receive clients in the evening at their peak time, as a result of the viral quarantine.
“Life is tough, we are being stigmatized… Some of us are HIV positive, we need to eat for the treatment or the drugs we are using to benefit our bodies,” Ms Laini, who is calling on officials to provide prostitutes with relief items.
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“There is no business. We are noticing an increase in number of domestic violence cases and we are hurting. Stress levels in most households are unbearable and we were instrumental in cooling them down but since coronavirus, we have lost clients,” Ms Betty Kitili, a paralegal from Changamwe, told Daily Nation.
“We don’t have sufficient time with the few (clients) that we are lucky to get during the day and that results in low pay.”
Mombasa, which is a very popular tourist city because of its beaches and attracts several visitors annually, is also a hotspot for prostitution albeit the trade being illegal.
This was made known in a joint statement by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and the National Movement of Sex Workers, Sisonke. Prostitution in the country is also illegal.
Worldwide, there are reportedly 1,934,583 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 120,863 deaths.
As of April 14, there are at least 580,878 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 23,607 deaths from the illness.