Brace For Tougher Covid-19 Restrictions

KEY POINTS

  • The President's 13th address of the nation on Covid-19 comes on the backdrop of the sixth extraordinary session with governors on the pandemic.
  • Deputy President William Ruto, who has been active politically, on Tuesday said he was calling down his weekend rallies.
  • On Sunday President Kenyatta seemed undecided on whether to clock down the economy against to slow the rate of transmission or maintain the status quo.

President Kenyatta is expected to address the country on how his administration intends to stop the escalating spread of Covid-19 in the country amid calls to tighten health and security protocols.

The President’s 13th address of the nation on Covid-19 comes on the backdrop of the sixth extraordinary session with governors on the pandemic.

Stakeholders are expected to deliberate on whether to continue keeping the economy open or shut it down again to save lives and cushion the health system from overstretching.

Since the economy was fully re-opened, Covid-19 cases have increased by 341 percent.

With high transmission rates, an economy in the middle of its first recession in 12 years and the health system on the brink of collapsing, the choices the president will make today will greatly affect the remainder of his term in office.

Some of the choices have to make include ban political rallies, stop inter-county travel, increase curfew hours, close schools, close bars and restaurants, and limited social functions.

Sources close to the President told a local daily that by last night, it had been agreed that political vents would be banned until further notice and curfew hours increased.

Deputy President William Ruto, who has been active politically, on Tuesday said he was calling down his weekend rallies.

“The upsurge in Covid-19 cases strongly indicates that a second wave may be in the offing. For this reason, I have decided to significantly scale down my public engagements until further notice. The empowerment meetings for this weekend in Machakos, Kitui, and Makueni are postponed,” he tweeted.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who has been popularising his presidential ambitions through meet-the-people tours, also stopped his rallies.

“I urge other leaders to also be responsible and halt their public meetings and to lead by example by wearing masks and keeping distance,” said Dr. Mutua.

Apart from burning political rallies, President Uhuru is also expected to impose tougher measures on social events like funerals, parties, and weddings while night clubs, restaurants, and bars could get new operating rules.

Reports have it that bars could be made to operate on a take-away basis only or shut down altogether.

Inter-county travels are unlikely to be banned since the virus has already spread across the country, while a decision to whether to keep learning institution open will be made after the President meets education stakeholders.

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The mandatory wearing of masks in public places, social distancing, and the rules governing public transport is expected to stay put.

On Sunday President Kenyatta seemed undecided on whether to clock down the economy against to slow the rate of transmission or maintain the status quo.

“We are going through that very difficult time of saying; now, what do we do again? Do we close up? We shall be coming to that, not today, but soon,” he said.

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