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Uhuru Announces New COVID-19 Containment Measures

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During his Labour Day address, President Uhuru delivered a highly anticipated reply to cries from many Kenyans on unlocking the country given the suffocating economy. Coming at a time when many piled pressure on the President to ease the strict COVID-19 measurements, the President lifted the cessation of movements in disease zoned areas and announced new measures.

Below is a cut off his speech announcing the new COVID-19 containment measures coming at a time when the virus is ravaging India.

Fellow Kenyans,

Let me end with some reflections on our current COVID-19 status as a nation. When I issued the second Public Order of 2021 in March, announcing the obtaining containment measures, our COVID caseload in Nairobi was 56,815.

This caseload has now gone down to below 15,000 for the month of April, signifying a 74% decrease in infections in Nairobi.

Data from our medical experts suggests the same trend in the zoned area we put on lockdown during my March 26th 2021 address. After one month of lockdown, COVID caseload within the zoned area has come down by 72%. In other areas of the Republic, the COVID caseload fell by 89% in Mombasa and 90% in Busia between March and April 2021.

Given the expert evidence we have received and on the counsel of the National Security Council and the National Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19, I have on this day issued Public Order No. 3 of 2021, as follows:

I. With regard to the Zoned Area comprising of the counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru, it is directed that the cessation of movement into and out of the Zoned area be and is hereby lifted;

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II. That the hours of curfew in the Zoned Area are revised to commence at 10:00pm and end at 4:00am, with effect from mid-night on this 1st day of May, 2021, until otherwise directed;

III. That in-person and congregational worship shall resume in strict fidelity to the guidelines issued by the Inter-Faith Council and Ministry of Health. However, the attending congregation is capped to 1/3 (One-third) of the capacity of the place of worship;

IV. That the operations of restaurants and eateries in the Zoned Area shall resume in accordance with the guidelines issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. Restaurants are encouraged to utilize outdoor spaces to maximize on physical and social distancing.

For the entirety of the Republic of Kenya, it is directed as follows:

I. That all our education institutions in all levels of learning shall re-open in accordance with the calendar issued by the Ministry of Education;

II. That the resumption of sporting activities shall be guided by the regulations to be issued by the Ministry of Health jointly with the Ministry of Sports;

III.That all bars in the territory of the Republic are to operate until 7:00 P.M;

IV. All employers and enterprises are encouraged to allow employees to work from home, with the only exception being with respect to employees working in critical or essential services that cannot be delivered remotely;

V. That all hospitals are directed to limit the number of visitors for hospitalized patients to one visitor per patient per day;

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VI. That the prohibition against political gatherings is extended until otherwise directed; and

VII. All the other containment measures and guidelines that are not expressly set-out in this Address remain in force, and shall be enforced dutifully.

Fellow Kenyans,

The containment measures we have
instituted today and all the interventions that
the Government has made over the last fourteen
months are geared towards responding to the unprecedented health threat that has gripped the world. We have instituted those containment measures and restrictions with no joy.

However, as a caring Government, we fully acknowledge that the responsibility bestowed upon us calls for action to secure the lives of our people.

Over the last year, we have witnessed challenges in other parts of the world, where the surge of infections has nearly led to collapse of globally acclaimed health systems. In moments like this we are all called upon to make sacrifices for one another for the collective good, it is never the intention of the Government to make life difficult or unbearable for any of our citizens.

Finally, as we prepare for the re-opening of schools, let me emphasize again that our
staying power in the fight against this pandemic is our greatest arsenal.

I say so, because, if public responsiveness to the health protocols goes up, then the possibility of further de-escalating the containment measures is within reach. Sadly, a surge of infections will necessitate an escalation of the containment measures, a possibility we all dread.

Let all step up together for our motherland; step up for our families; step up for our
neighbours; step up for our beloved Nation Kenya.

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