Uhuru's Awaited Announcement Sparks Anxiety
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to make an announcement on Friday, April 24, which may spell doom on Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi residents, after he directed the National Command Centre on the Coronavirus Pandemic to immediately review the enforcement of Covid-19 safety measures in the three counties.
The review directive was announced by Interior CS Fred Matiang'i through his social media pages on Wednesday, April 22, as the Covid-19 cases keep soaring the three regions, dubbed hotspots, alongside Nairobi County.
Kenyatta, on Monday, April 6, announced the cessation of movement in Nairobi, Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi Counties as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i addressing the press after a meeting with Governors on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
"The results of the review will be announced in the next 48 hours," Matiang'i tweeted on Wednesday, April 22.
On Thursday, April 23, cases at Kenya Ports Authority grew to 24, as the Ministry of Health surveillance teams were deployed to help trace possible contacts of the positive individuals.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has been adamant that the county requires a total lockdown, as the residents keep flouting directives, despite efforts by his government to supply free food.
“I fail to understand why people do not understand that this disease is real and it kills. It is out on our doorsteps knocking and we are busy opening for it to come in,” Joho lamented while addressing the media in mid-April.
On Thursday night, April 23, while speaking on NTV, Joho argued that Mombasa residents were defiant and did not want to shelve social practices that put them at risk.
"My people want to share meals and eat together on one plate. This is dangerous. We have informed them that they have to part with some practices for some time, but they don't want to listen. You can avoid going into the hospital by following directives but the more you move around you spread Coronavirus. I told them that if you do not stop Coronavirus, it will stop you," Joho warned.
On Monday, April 20, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho warned that stringent measures were on the table, including cessation of movement within hotspot counties, ss they were monitoring how effective earlier directives were being observed.
"It will be an exercise in futility to say let's continue as normal if the curve is not flattening. Remember the cessation was to achieve certain objectives. If we haven't achieved them, we will ask the government to extend," Kibicho affirmed in an interview with Citizen TV.
Kenyatta's much-awaited decision comes at a time the World Health Organisation warned the world that Covid-19 would stay for a long time, while urging countries not to relent in the fight.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus informed journalists that despite lockdowns and physical distancing helping suppress transmission in many countries, the virus remains “extremely dangerous”.
"One of the greatest dangers we face now is complacency. People in countries with stay-at-home orders are understandably frustrated with being confined to their homes for weeks on end. Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time," he warned.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho announcing the Mombasa County Emergency Household Relief and Nutrition Support Project, on March 26, 2020.