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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. /CFM-FILE.

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CS Kagwe allowed discretion to list public facilities as COVID centres

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – The Ministry of Health has been given leeway to designate government facilities including stadia and learning institutions into COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres.

During his tenth address to the nation on the pandemic, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the ministry to develop protocols which will be used to effect the designation when deemed appropriate.

The directive comes even as the country reported 440 new cases to bring the country’s tally to 17,975 while the death toll rose to 285 after five more people succumbed to the virus.

President Kenyatta cautioned Kenyans against what he called reckless behavior.

“The harsh reality is that we are at war.  With an invisible, ruthless and relentless enemy.  In war, no mercy is shown by either side.  In war, survival is key.  Self-preservation is the priority for all in a theatre of war. This is precisely the level of danger we find ourselves in today,” he stated.

Speaking after chairing the intergovernmental summit with 47 county governors, President Kenyatta said he was saddened that a section of Kenyans do not comprehend the serious health risk the pandemic poses to them and their families.

“We are fortunate that our Case Fatality Rate, at 1.6%, is much lower than the global average. Perhaps it is this relatively low rate that is giving some Kenyans false comfort…Those are the people who have interpreted the de-escalation of the measures as a green light to pay no heed to the guidance by our health authorities,” said the President.

The Head of State once again repeated his clarion call for civic responsibility as the surest way for the country to win the war against the pandemic.

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“I must remind Kenyans that the Government cannot police the morality of its citizens.  Citizens must balance between their individual rights and their responsibility to each other….These are not normal times.  Countries whose citizens have taken a careless or relaxed attitude have suffered greatly. Let us not follow their example,” the Head of State emphasized.

President Kenyatta rallied Kenyans to take proactive and vigilant steps to ensure the country does not end up with a scenario where it will have to bury its citizens in mass graves as has been witnessed in other parts of the globe.

“If someone enters your shop without a mask, insist that they wear one.  If a waiter in a restaurant is not complying with the health rules, speak up, report them, and even refuse them your business.  Do your part knowing that it will keep you and your loved ones safer,” said the Head of State.

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