NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – The government does not regret reopening restaurants but is alarmed by the surge in cases of people abusing the new intervention.
“We are aware that people have been going to restaurants to order for one sausage and two beers, then they move on to another restaurant to do the same,” Health Cabinet Secretary told a media briefing on Tuesday when he announced the rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 to 535.
Kagwe said the decision to reopen restaurants came from a good place and was only intended to ensure that people continue earning a living.
“We were trying so hard to ensure that people who already had jobs, do not end up needing the government’s help. The idea behind reopening restaurants to the general public was to prevent transporting people who do not need help from needing welfare.”
He said the government wishes not to close restaurants again to combat the virus, in the hopes that people will adhere to all the directives set by the government.
On March 22, the government directed restaurants to only sell take-away food and shut down bars and clubs indefinitely.
However, on April 27, Kagwe gave restaurants a greenlight to reopen but only if management followed the strict measures laid down by the government.
The measures include ensuring staff are tested and turn negative for COVID-19, ensuring anyone walking into the premises washes their hands and has a face mask and observance of social distance within the unit.
Curfew still on
At the same time, Kagwe warned Kenyans of flouting curfew rules, saying the government had noted some sort of laxity.
“For some odd reasons, people have started believing that 7:30 is okay. You even find people jogging at 8. Then when we take measures against them, you start launching complains.”
“We have a challenge and we shall take steps because we cannot continue taking two steps forward and two steps back. What we cannot allow is let a few people drag us backwards,” he added.
The CS also reiterated that the coronavirus situation in the country is far from being better warning that the curve will continue to rise if Kenyans do not adhere to the directives.