NAIROBI, KENYA | NEW LOCKDOWN – Kenya President, Uhuru Kenyatta has announced new lockdown measures in five counties to curb the spread of a third wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.
The new lockdown measures in the five counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru is effective midnight, today, Friday March 26, 2021.
In his address to the nation on Friday afternoon, President Uhuru said the tough measures have been taken after the numbers escalated tremendously especially in the 5 counties from January this year.
At the same time, the president also announced a nationwide curfew that commences at 8pm and ends at 4pm in the five zoned counties and 10pm to 4am in the rest of the country effective midnight.
“Kenya is squarely in the grip of the third wave of this pandemic,” Kenyatta said in a televised address. “The death rate is devastating by all measures.”
The infection rate has jumped to about 19% from 2.6% at the start of the year and the third wave will likely peak in 30 days at about 3,000 cases daily, he said.
In the same breath, Uhuru tasked the Interior and Health ministries to review issuance of curfew passes over flouting of transport rules adding that the current passes have been vacated.
Party lovers too have been hard hit after the government banned the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants in the said counties. However, eateries and restaurants have been asked to operate on a take-away basis.
“All gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are suspended within Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru counties until further notice. All in-person meetings of Cabinet and its committees also suspended”, he stated.
International travelers have also not been spared after Uhuru commanded that those traveling into and out of the territory of Kenya possess a negative Covid-19 PCR certificate acquired no more than 96 hours earlier.
He also directed employers to let employees work from home save for essential services.
On matters of worship, The President has suspended all physical and in-person as well as congregational worship in all places of worship in Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru adding that the other 42 counties, worship will continue as per guidelines of the Inter-faith Council.
Uhuru backed his directive by saying that the escalating numbers of infections in the 5 counties are now a worrying trend.
“In less than 12 days, our admission in hospitals has increased by 52 per cent. The positivity rate is the highest since the pandemic began and the stress on our health care is unparalleled,” said Kenyatta.
“Nairobi County alone accounts for nearly 60 per cent of all recorded Covid-19 cases. This means that out of 5 people, 3 are more likely to test positive for Covid-19 disease,” he added.