President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties Covid-19 hotspots and has subsequently announced travelling restrictions for the next 21 days.In his address to the nation on Monday evening, the President said that Nairobi accounts for 82 per cent of the total infections while the other Coastal counties account for 14 per cent hence the new directive.He said that travel restrictions in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area will begin today (Monday) at 7pm while in Mombasa, Kilifi, and Kwale counties the directive will take effect on Wednesday evening.
The Head of State said that the movement along the coastal strip, in affected counties should be limited for now before the directive takes effect on April 8.The President was categorical that motor vehicles, scooters, bicycles, and motorbikes are not allowed to move in and out of the four counties.He, however, said that vehicles ferrying food materials or other essential products like medical equipment and drugs would be exempted from the restrictions.
He said that vehicles ferrying food products are only allowed to have one driver and ‘such designated persons must be notified by writing.’While defining the boundaries of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, he said that the ban affects Nairobi Couty, part of Kiambu County stretching over to Chania River, part of Machakos County, and part of Kajiado County including Kitengela.
While referring to the new raft of measures to curb the spread of the bug, Uhuru said that most countries have reacted based on their own circumstances.He termed the new measures hard but necessary choices that if not taken, the country could pay the most painful price through loss of lives and economic devastation. “It can lead to unprecedented pressure on our medical facilities which may lead to unprecedented loss of lives,” he stated. “There is a choice that we are asked to make as a government or as a people.”As a way of ensuring that the social distancing rule and other personal preventions are undertaken, he urged people to wear face masks any time when in public.
“We must endeavor to wear masks when we are amongst our people…wash hands for atleast 20 seconds,” he said.Uhuru urged the Nairobi Metropolitan Services to ensure the availability of water, especially in slum areas to boost hygiene. He also encouraged farmers working on food production to continue with their work to ensure that there is enough food in the country.Kenya’s Covid-19 pandemic cases shot to 158 on Monday after 16 more people tested positive for the virus. Four more people recovered and two more died. This means that the number of people who have died of Covid-19 is six. The President said that the Ministry of Health tested 4,277 people on Monday.