NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27- The Ministry of Health has reported 1,152 new COVID-19 cases a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced tough new measures to stem the rising infections.
In the new measures, the president declared a lockdown in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado which were zoned together due to high infections recorded in the counties.
On Saturday, the five counties were listed with more cases with Nairobi alone recording 458, followed by Nakuru which posted 139, Kiambu recorded 93 cases, Machakos 50, Kajiado 48.
A night curfew was reviewed to start at 8pm in the five counties while the rest of country maintained the 10pm which had been in effect since last year. It ends at 4am.
6 more patients succumbed to the virus pushing fatalities to 2,104.
President Kenyatta said the five counties requires tough restrictions after the third wave of the pandemic swept the country with unprecedented infections and deaths since February.
“That fully conscious that 70 per cent of Kenya’s reported cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru. These counties are individually and collectively declared a disease-infected area,” he declared in a televised address Friday.
Effectively, he said, “there shall be a cessation of movement into and out of the five counties effective Saturday until further notice.”
Citing statistics from the Ministry of Health, Kenyatta said “if you test 100 Kenyans today, 20 will be positive compared to January this year when only 2 would have been positive.”
“This tells us that the rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and March 2021,” he added.
Worse still, he said, out of every 10 positive cases countrywide, 6 are reported in Nairobi.
On Saturday however, the government eased the lockdown restrictions to enable anyone caught off-guard to travel.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the restrictions for travel in the five counties zoned areas will be relaxed until Sunday 8pm.
This is to enable anyone locked out of their areas to travel before strict enforcement starts. The measures which also include closing bars and reviewing the night curfew time were put in place to help curb the rising COVID-19 infections in the country.
But even as he spoke, police had already erected roadblocks in the affected boundaries in line with President Kenyatta’s directive.