President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Nakuru Counties disease infected zones even as he directed that there will be cessation of movement in and out of the five counties.
In what he termed as Public Order No. 2 of 2021 on the Coronavirus Pandemic, President Uhuru asked Parliament to proceed on recess as well as the regional Houses mentioned above.
“In accordance with the Standing Orders of the National Assembly and the Senate, the Two Speakers of Parliament will move to effect this decision as well as the Speakers of the respective County Assemblies.”
In his address on Friday afternoon, President Kenyatta also suspended the operation of bars in the five counties hardest hit by COVID-19 virus effective midnight.
“Operation of bars is suspended in Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru. Similarly, the sale of alcohol in eateries in the five counties is prohibited until further notice,” he ordered.
While suspending the operation of bars, President Kenyatta directed that restaurants and eateries in those areas will now provide take away services only.
Eateries in other parts of the country will continue as usual, in line with public health guidelines.
In issuing the new directives the Head of State noted that Kenya has reported an increase of COVID-19 positivity rate, adding that the rate is now higher than when the pandemic started.
“The hours of the nationwide curfew have now been revised in the zoned areas, including Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru Counties, to now start at 8pm and end at 4am. Curfew hours across other parts of the country will remain the same, that is, start at 10pm,” he said.
President Kenyatta further 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 notices.
All sporting activities are also suspended, including those conducted by members’ clubs.
President Uhuru said the measures are taken in a bid to avert a National Health crisis.
“The Third Wave of COVID-19 is at hand in Kenya. The positivity rate is at its highest since the pandemic hit us; the death rate is devastating by all measures; and the stress the pandemic is placing on our health system is unparalleled,” he said.
He said the number of cases have continued to rise since January saying, “At the end of January 2021, our COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 2.6 per cent. By Monday 22nd March 2021, the positivity rate had jumped to 19 per cent; and indications by our experts is that the positivity rate is now settling at 22 per cent.”
“What is even more worrying is the rising death rate from COVID. Between January and February 2021, three (3) people died every day from COVID; in March 2021, the number has gone up to seven (7) every day, the highest since this pandemic hit us,” said President Kenyatta.