NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Security agencies across the country have been directed to enforce COVID-19 protocols without fear or favour, as President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a new set of stringent measures, following a spike in cases of deaths and infections.
The police and country inspectorate teams will joint efforts to net those defying the Ministry of Health protocols which include observance of curfew hours, that has been reviewed from 8pm to 4am in Kiambu, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado and Machakos counties which have been zoned as disease infected areas.
The President specifically suspended all curfew passes and exemption cards, while directing the Interior and Health ministries to issue new ones after fresh vetting to avert misuse.
“I urge all law enforcement officers to live true to their oath of office and discharge their duties without fear or favour in enforcing the containment measures,” the President said during an address to the country on Friday.
The President said the measures though inconveniencing, were necessary to contain the surging coronavirus infection rate which had risen to over 20 per cent with at least 7 deaths being recorded daily.
With the country experiencing a third and a more lethal wave of infections, the President said the curve is expected to flatten by Mid-May.
“I am confident, that working together, we, as a government upholding our duty of care to you, our citizens; and you, as citizens, responding by exercising your civic responsibility, we will defeat this Third Wave of COVID. We will defeat it because we all did our part to the best of our ability,” the President said.
What are the measures announced by the President?
Effective midnight on Friday, the President declared a cessation of all movement by road, rail, or air into and out of the disease infected areas.
This, he said, was informed by the fact 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.
“Those Counties are individually and collectively declared a disease infected area,” the President said.
Further, the President suspended all public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature within the five counties.
Also, all in-person meetings of the Cabinet and its Committees, with the exception of meetings of the National Security Council were also suspended until further notice.
All physical and congregational worship in all places of worship in the five counties were also suspended until otherwise notified.
With respect to education in Kenya, the President said, “there shall be the immediate suspension of all on-going physical learning in all our education institutions including universities and tertiary and vocational colleges, other than for candidates sitting for their examinations and those in medical training institutions until otherwise notified.”