By Andrew Ombuni
President Uhuru Kenyatta has placed Nairobi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties under partial lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
The residents of the said counties will also not be allowed to travel outside the devolved units.
The announcement came after Uhuru held a closed door meeting with the National Emergency Response Committee.
Uhuru in his address to the nation from Statehouse in Nairobi on Monday, he said 16 more people have tested positive of Covid19, which brings the tally to 158 people who have since tested positive of the virus.
“We have so far tested over 4,277people out which 158 have tested positive. We have recorded six deaths and four recoveries. At least 82 per cent of those who have tested positive are from Nairobi City County and 14 per cent from Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa,” said Uhuru.
Uhuru also banned movement in Nairobi and three coastal counties that have been worse hit by the Covid19 pandemic.
“That there shall be cessation of all movement by road, rail or air in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa. The cessation of movement within Nairobi Metropolitan Area shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days; with effect from 7:00 pm on Monday, 6th April,” Uhuru ordered.
He said the movement of people within the four counties hall continue subject to the nationwide curfew, which shall be restricted and supervised by the Kenya Police.
“The Nairobi Metropolitan Area is designated as Nairobi City County, Part of Kiambu County up to Chania River Bridge (Thika), including Rironi, Ndenderu, Kiambu Town; Part of Machakos County up to Athi-River, including Katani; Part of Kajiado County including Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and Ngong Town; and all other areas as set out in the Order, “said Uhuru.
“Passenger carrying bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, vehicles, railway wagons, and aircraft shall not be allowed in and out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa,” he added.
Uhuru said movement of food and other cargo shall continue upon writing to health officials of their travel plans
He also directed the Treasury to utilize the Sh2billion the government recovered from corruption as well as money allocated for domestic and international travels by both national and county government officers be allocated to fight Covid19 by supplying foods stuffs and water to the needy.
“As we scale up our interventions against the current health pandemic, I direct the National Treasury to utilize the Sh. 2 Billion of already recovered from corruption proceeds to support the most vulnerable members of our society, especially the needy in our urban areas,” he said.
The president also directed the National Treasury to appropriate all domestic and international travel budgets for all State Agencies within the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature and the County Governments; and to re-allocate them to combating COVID-19.