President Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted at the possibility of localized lockdowns going forward in counties that experience an upsurge in infection cases to stem the spread of the disease. Kenyatta was speaking during the 13th state briefing on Covid-19 pandemic after meeting with governors in the morning.
The council of governors through their Chairman, Wycliffe Oparanya, recommended that the containment protocols be implemented in their original form. In this case, Oparanya requested the nationwide curfew in force be varied from 11pm to 9pm.
Oparanya further wants the curfew to run to 4 am for at least one month until the curve flattens or positivity rate falls below 5 percent, whichever is attained first. Oparanya believes that the government cannot focus on economic recovery while ignoring the virus.
He said that the national government and county officials would collaborate to enforce the containment protocols.
On his part, President Kenyatta said that the authorities have been monitoring the performance in the last thirty days (38) of de-escalated covid19 measures.
He says that since easing containment measures on September 27 there has been a serious reversal in the gains made prior to reopening. For instance, there has been an increase in positivity rate to 16 percent from the 4 percent before easing of measures with the covid19 bed occupancy rising by 140 percent during the last thirty-eight days.
October recorded over 15000 new coronavirus infection cases and approximately 300 deaths, going down as the worst month since the onset of the pandemic.
Kenyatta blamed Kenyans abandoning health measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, and sanitizing. He said that the government would double the enforcement efforts reiterating that whether or not the economy will remain open depends on the public’s responsiveness to the covid protocols.
He directed that all public and state officers aged above 58 years and those who are immune-compromised to work remotely. Government ministries and department should resort to virtual meetings where possible to minimize in-person contact.
Schools that are currently reopened will continue with learning and examination preparation but under heightened health safety measures. All basic education classes will resume in person learning in January 2021 and will foster measures prior to the reopening.
The president suspended all political gatherings and rallies for the next sixty days. The Ministry of Interior will set up a special enforcement unit comprising of National Police, Administration police officers, and county inspectorate to jointly enforce compliance at the national and county levels.
The nationwide curfew is extended to January 3, 2021, with the curfew starting from 10 pm effective November 4, 2020. In addition, bars and restaurants will close by 9 pm.