President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the cessation of all movement by air, road or rail to and from the Nairobi Metropolitan Area to arrest the spread of Coronavirus into the country on a day that Kenya reported two more COVID-19 related deaths taking the number of people who have succumbed to the disease in the country to six while the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 158.
In a televised address, President Kenyatta announced the partial lockdown in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area will be effective from Monday, April 6 starting 7 pm for an initial period of 21 days.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Area has been defined as: Nairobi City County, Part of Kiambu up to Chania River bridge including Rironi, Ndenderu, Kiambu Town, Part of Machakos up to Athi River, Katani, Part of Kajiado including Kitengela, Kiserian and Ongata Rongai, Ngong Town.
By the same token, the movement to and from the Coastal counties of Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale by road, rail or air has also been banned effective Wednesday, April 8 starting 7 pm.
All Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), aircrafts and vessels will not be allowed into the the two geographical zones identified as COVID-19 infested areas.
The movement of food supplies, cargo and select essential supplies will continue as normal through road, rail and air as long as the vehicles, aircraft or vessels only have one driver and not more than three assistants. The owner or operator must reveal the identities of the occupants of their vehicle to authorities in writing beforehand.
According to the Head of State, the move has been necessitated by the fact that 82% of Kenya’s reported cases have been recorded in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area while 14% of the cases in the Coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi making the areas potential health time bombs.
“This virus is unforgiving and at its rate of growth, if not arrested is exponential. This disease can lead to unprecedented pressure on our medical facilities which may lead to unequally unprecedented loss of life,” said President Kenyatta “Therefore I will go to any length, any lawful length to respond to COVID-19,”
The President also announced that he has directed Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani to release Ksh2 billion recovered from corrupt dealings to be channeled towards cushioning vulnerable Kenyans and more specifically those who reside in urban areas.
The government is now directing (must) Kenyans to wear protective masks while in public spaces like supermarkets and bus stations after receiving advice from health experts.
“I know there will be thousands of tailors across the country who will also look to make these masks and we encourage them to do so the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industrialization will endeavor to ensure that they are provided with the right information on the kind of materials required and the proper method of piecing the fabrics together,” said the President.