President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined various measures the government is undertaking to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The President who announced two more confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country assured Kenyans that the government is assessing, containing and managing the virus.
To safeguard the public from exploitative traders, the President warned of severe action against people found to be taking advantage of the situation to hoard or increase prices of commodities.
“I would like to really emphasize on one point, that we will also equally not entertain hoarding or raising prices to Kenyans taking advantage of this situation to create artificial shortages so that Kenyans are made to pay more,” he said during his Sunday evening public address.
The regretted that some of the measures taken by the government may cause inconvenience saying that the interventions are designed to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained.
“I appeal to all of us to strictly observe these measures. I would also like to appeal for calm. Kenyans must avoid misinformation that causes panic and anxiety,” he added.
Following the confirmation of two additional cases, the President suspended entry for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported Coronavirus cases.
He said only Kenyan Citizens and foreigners with valid resident permits will gain entry provided they take up self-quarantine or check into government designated quarantine facility.
“This will take effect within the next 48 hours to cater for any passengers who may be en route. This directive will remain in effect for the next 30 days or as varied by the National Emergency Response Committee,” the President said.
The President said all persons who come into the country in the last 14 days must self-quarantine while any person who exhibits symptoms such as cough or fever should present themselves to the nearest health facility for examination.
He announced the suspension of learning activities in all educational institutions with immediate effect.
“Consequently, and to facilitate a phased approach, primary and secondary day schools are to suspend operations from tomorrow (March 16),” the President said.
For those in boarding institutions, President Kenyatta directed schools to ensure that students are home by Wednesday, 18th March 2020 while universities and tertiary institutions are to close by Friday, 20th March 2020.
[President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (R) with other CS.s during the President’s Public address at Harambee house in Nairobi, Sunday. Photo/PSCU].
The President advised government offices, businesses and companies to allow employees to work from home with the exception of employees involved in the provision of critical or essential services.
In order to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money, President Kenyatta encouraged the use of cashless transactions such as mobile money and credit cards.
“We appeal to mobile operators and banks to take into consideration the situation and reduce the cost of transactions during this period,” he said.
Uhuru also cautioned citizens against visiting crowded places such as places of worship, minimizing attendance to social gatherings including weddings and funerals.