COVID-19: Is the country headed for a fresh lockdown?

Written By: Nicholas Kigondu

The country appears set for fresh lock-downs in the wake of a sharp turn in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

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Kenya on Thursday reported 1,068 new Covid-19 cases from a sample of 7,556 with community spread of the contagion appearing more pronounced.

The obtaining situation has left experts worried with ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru saying the current numbers could force the government to take sterner measures. “Things are starting to get worrying. We are now recording a rise in hospital admissions across the country” Mucheru observed.

Speaking on Friday morning during a session with senior editors, Mucheru said Kenyans must take personal responsibility if the Covid-19 curve is to be flattened. The CS saying that the Covid-19 National Emergency Response Committee had advised the president to ease restrictions after it appeared that the country had managed to contain its spread. This however could change if the current infection rates continue.

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Government spokesman Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said the government is already developing a strategy that will put community leaders at the heart of efforts aimed at containing the spread of the virus. Oguna saying parents remain worried over the fate of their children some of whom have already resumed learning.

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Several counties including Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru,Uasin Gishu,Turkana, Kisumu, Nandi and Kakamega have recorded worrying number of new infections in recent days.

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In July, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a phased reopening of the country, with the resumption of international flights from August 1 as well as the lifting of internal travel restrictions after devastation on the country’s key economic sectors resulting from four months of coronavirus restrictions.

But it the president’s decision on September 28 to allow bars to resume operations as part of measures to re-open the economy that could come up for review. The sector employs thousands of Kenyans across the country. Sources say the establishments could become the first casualties of the planned lockdowns as the government moves to contain what is appearing to be the second wave of the virus.

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Politicians are also proving a headache to authorities with their gatherings attracting hundreds of supporters where social distancing guidelines are often thrown through the window.

On Thursday, the country recorded 1,068 Covid-19 Cases with Nairobi leading the list. The county had the highest number of new cases at 305 followed by Nakuru with137 cases. Mombasa recorded 74 cases, Kisumu had 60 cases,Kericho 58,Nandi 48, Uasin Gishu 48,Kakamega 47, Kilifi 34, Kisii 28,Laikipia 26,Turkana 22,Meru 20,Kajiado 18,Kiambu 18,Garisa 15,Busia 14,Machakos 14, West Pokot 12, Murang’a 9, Migori 9,Bomet 6, Isiolo 6,Nyamira 6,Siaya 5,Narok 4, Nyeri 4,, Wajir 4, Bungoma 3, Transzoia 3, Kirinyaga 3, Baringo 3 while Elgeyo Marakwet, Lamu, Nyandarua , Taita Taveta and Embu  had one case each.


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