Uhuru locks down Nairobi, four other counties over virus surge

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Uhuru locks down Nairobi, four other counties over virus surge


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President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO | PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has on Friday afternoon banned movement into and out of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru in a fresh bid to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.

The head of State while directing the cessation of movement in to and out of the five counties effective Saturday described them as “disease-infected areas” that are accounting for over 70 per cent of the new infections and deaths.

The stiff measures come in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 infections as daily positivity rates average 20 per cent from an average of 3.1 per cent in January as the country faces a third wave of the pandemic.

“There shall be a cessation of all movement by road, rail or air into and out of the disease-infected area as one zone area, effective midnight today until otherwise notified,” President Kenyatta ordered on Friday afternoon.

Mr Kenyatta also banned all parliamentary sessions of the National Assembly and county assemblies in the five counties, as well as all social gatherings at all places of worship and in-person meetings and lengthened curfew hours to start from 8 pm to 4 am.

Curfew hours across other parts of the country remain 10 pm to 4 am.

Alcohol sale

Bars and all liquor joints have also been shut down in the presidential directive that is set to take a toll on an industry that has been struggling to regain its footing since the start of the phased re-opening of the economy in July last year.

“Similarly, the sale of alcohol in eateries in the five counties is prohibited until further notice,” Mr Kenyatta said.

Learning in schools

Mr Kenyatta has ordered the suspension of all in-person learning at all institutions including universities, tertiary and vocational colleges, except for candidates sitting their examinations and those in medical training institutions until further notice. 

All sporting activities are also suspended, including those conducted by members’ clubs. 

Kenya is grappling with a third wave of coronavirus infections with health facilities stretched to capacities as hospital admissions increase by 52 per cent in the past 12 days.

Covid vaccine

Earlier on Friday, President Kenyatta directed his entire Cabinet and Executive office to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

This was confirmed by the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Nzioka Waita, who said it was vital to lead by example.

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