MACHAKOS, Kenya, Mar 31 – National government administrators in Machakos Tuesday ordered the indefinite closure of Maanzoni Lodge, a popular conferencing facility located in Athi River, after the hotel’s management violated a government directive prohibiting public gatherings.
The closure followed a Monday meeting during which over 700 youths convened in what was said to be a 2022 presidential campaign strategy meeting.
The manager of the hotel Chris Musau and the youth leader were arrested and locked up at Athi River police station.
Machakos County Commissioner Esther Maina confirmed the arrest and stated the two will face charges in court.
“Yesterday (Monday) I got information from the public that 720 youths were meeting at Maanzoni. We went there with my officers and found it was true,” she said.
Maina could not however verify the agenda of the meeting.
She said the two will be charged for flouting the Public Health Act and government directive banning public meetings, social and family events exceeding fifteen people.
The over 700 youths will be freed upon monitoring and screening for coronavirus.
Kenya has as at Monday, March 30, reported 50 cases of the virus which has claimed the life of a 66-year-old patient who had a pre-existing condition.
The Ministry of Health Monday projected a significant rise in the number of coronavirus cases to 10,000 by April 30.
“We postulate that we will have 5,000 by mid-April and potentially 10,000 by the end of that month. Those are the numbers that we are working with in terms of how we preposition our personal protective equipment, how we preposition our human resources and how we preposition of isolation and quarantine facilities,” Acting Director General of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, said during a daily briefing on Monday.
Deputy President William Ruto Monday said the Ministry of Education was working with county governments to identify at least 20 boarding schools in each devolved unit which will be converted into makeshift hospitals for COVID-19 patients should cases recorded in the country increase.
The boarding schools, he said, will be well equipped to be used as health facilities in case of a crisis.
“The government has directed the ministry of education to work with all county govt’s to identify at least 20 boarding schools per county to be prepared/equipped for use as health facilities as part of COVID-19 preparedness,” the DP said in a tweet.
Ruto’s remarks on the number of schools to be identified to boost government’s preparedness for coronavirus came a day after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government was mapping boarding schools and airport hangars for use as isolation facilities for coronavirus.
“It is likely that our health facilities can be overrun by demand, we need to be looking as communities in your villages what are the secondary schools, particularly boarding schools that we can begin to identify as potential areas where we can keep the sick if the situation overruns,” the Health Cabinet Secretary said on Sunday.