Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday placed Nairobi and several nearby counties under a partial lockdown, and closed schools and bars in those areas, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In a national address, Kenyatta ordered “that there shall be cessation of all movement by road, rail, or air into and out of the disease-infected area… effective midnight tonight” in Nairobi and four other counties where cases are rising fast.
Kenya is gripped by a deadly third wave of the pandemic but nearly three-quarters of all cases have been recorded in the capital Nairobi and the nearby counties of Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.
Kenyatta said all public gatherings in those areas — political, religious or otherwise — were temporarily suspended, while schools were shuttered except to those doing exams or for medical students.
An evening curfew in effect for 12 months was brought forward to 8pm-4am, he said.
Bars would be closed, and restaurants permitted to offer takeaway food only and no alcoholic drinks.
All employees in those counties, where possible, should work from home, the president said.
“Whereas the foregoing measures will have adverse effects on the economy and constrain our usual way of life, the measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore stop further loss of lives,” Kenyatta said.
“I am convinced that the cost of not acting now would be far greater.”