“Indeed I did not intend to speak on this matter until the measures we took on march the 12th 2021 lapsed in 30 days to 60 days.
Unfortunately however today, 14 days later I have been compelled by medical as well as empirical evidence, to revise the measures that we took on March 12th of this year.
The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in January of 2021 was 4,380. This has now shot to 15,916 confirmed cases. By the 21st of March 2021 at the end of January 2021, our COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 2.6%.
By Monday the 22nd of march 2021 the positivity rate had jumped to 19%. An indication by our experts is that the positivity rate is now settling at 22%. What this means is that if you test 100 Kenyans for COVID, 20 will be positive compared to January this year when only 2 would have been positive, and this tells us that our rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and march of 2021.
Indeed it is clear, and we have a clear indication of a new trend that now Kenya is squarely in the grip of the 3rd wave of this pandemic. In terms of geographical impact, Nairobi county accounts for close to 60% of the recorded cases.
What this means is out of every 10 positive cases countrywide 6 are from Nairobi. In other words, if we took a random sample of 5 people in Nairobi and tested them for COVID, 3 are likely to be positive.
This unfortunate turn of events calls for urgent and indeed drastic measures. Fellow Kenyans what is even more worrying is the rising death rate from COVID between January and February of this year, 3 people were dying every day from COVID.
In March, this number has gone up to 7 people dying every day, the highest since the pandemic hit us. Equally worrisome is how this COVID crisis has tested our health system.
Over the last month, we have experienced a steep and sustained rise in the number of admissions for covid-19 across the country. Since my last address on the 12th of march 7,630 Kenyans had been admitted to our hospitals for COVID-19. Yet before my address to the nation on March 12th, there were only 4990 Kenyans that had been admitted.
So in less than 13 days, our admission rate in our hospitals has increased by 52%. In the month of January 2021, an average of 20 Kenyans was in intensive care units needing oxygen. This number went up to just under 30% in the month of February since my address on the 12th of march.
Over 950 Kenyans are in ICU wards for COVID-related complications. This confirms the fact that the 3RD wave of COVID-19 is at hand in Kenya. The positivity rate is the highest since the pandemic hit us last year.
The death rate is devastating by all measures and the stress that the pandemic is placing on our health system is unparalleled. Indeed according to our health experts, our third wave began to gain momentum at the beginning of March 2021.
This wave is expected to peak in the next thirty days with more than 2500-3000 cases being reported daily. Based on our previous experience this peak will flatten only by mid-bay 2021 which is about 60 days from now.
So fellow Kenyans to avert a national health crisis, and upon the advice of the national security council, and the council of governors and also in keeping with the recommendations of the national emergency response committee on COVID-19, I today hereby issue the public order number two of 2021 on the coronavirus pandemic as follows.
CESSATION OF MOVEMENT (Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru)
- That fully conscious that 70% of Kenya’s reported cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the counties of Nairobi, KaJiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru. These counties are individually and collectively declared a disease-infected area.
- That there shall be a cessation of all movement by road rail or air into and out of the disease-infected area as a one-zoned area comprising of the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru, effective midnight tonight. Therefore meaning effective Saturday the 27th of March 2021 until otherwise notified.
- That all gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are suspended within the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru until further notice.
- That all person that all in-person meetings of the cabinet and its committees with the exception of the meetings of the national security council are suspended until further notice.
- That in concurrence that with the concurrence of the parliamentary leadership of both houses of parliament, and with the concurrence of the county leadership the ordinary sessions of the august house, including those of their committees, and the ordinary sessions of the county assemblies of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru are hereby suspended until further notice
- In accordance with the standing orders of the national assembly and the senate, the two speakers of parliament will move to effect this decision as will the speakers of the respective county assemblies.
- The international travel, into and out of the territory of the Republic of Kenya shall continue in accordance with the existing guidelines on foreign and international travel.
- That all persons coming into the country must be in possession of a negative covid-19 PCR certificate acquired no more than 96 hours prior to arrival into the country. With a PCR certificate also having been validated under the trusted travel platform for those traveling by air
- That the hours of the ongoing nationwide curfew are revised to commence at eight pm and end at four a.m in the zoned area that I have just mentioned of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru. And in the rest of the country, it shall remain at 10 from 10 pm to 4 a.m as is currently the case. This again shall be effective as of midnight tonight and that is Saturday the 27th day of March 2021.
- That in light of the abuse of curfew passes and exemptions and its role in the steep increase in infections, the Ministry of Interior and coordination of National Government jointly with the Ministry of Health is directed to immediately review the protocols for reissuance of curfew passes and exemptions, and in that regard, in the intervening period all issued passes are hereby vacated.
- That all physical and in-person as well as congregational worship in all places of worship in the counties of Nairobi, Kajado Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru stands suspended until otherwise notified.
- That in regard to the other 42 counties, in-person worship and congregational worship shall continue to be conducted in keeping with a one-third rule and in accordance with the guidelines of the interfaith council.
PHYSICAL LEARNING SUSPENDED
- With respect to education in Kenya, there shall be an immediate suspension of all ongoing physical learning in all our education institutions including universities and tertiary and vocational colleges other than for candidates sitting for their examinations and those in medical training institutions until otherwise notified.
SPORTING ACTIVITIES AND PUBLIC GATHERING SUSPENDED
- That all sporting activities are hereby suspended similarly operations of sporting and recreational facilities including members clubs are suspended until it is otherwise directed.
- That in line with a directive on public gatherings including social gatherings the following measures are to come into effect commencing midnight Friday the 26th of march 2021.
BARS RESTAURANTS AND EATERIES
- That the operations of bars are suspended in the counties of Nairobi, Kajado Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru.
- Similarly, the sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries in the five counties is prohibited until further notice.
- That all restaurants and eateries in the counties of Nairobi, Kajado Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru shall provide takeaway services only,
- That the operations of bars and restaurants and eateries in the other 42 counties shall continue as is but they shall at all times be conducted in strict fidelity to the ministry of health guidelines failure to which appropriate action against management staff patrons and premises shall be taken.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND MARKETPLACES
- Public transport operators are directed to strictly uphold the red designated 60% carrying capacity and the county emergency response committees that we formed are directed to enforce implementation of infection prevention control measures in markets such as handwashing stations while also ensuring
- That all sellers and buyers must be fully masked and maintain physical distance.
- That all employees and enterprises of whatever nature including public bodies the private sector government offices and others are directed to allow the employees to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services that cannot be delivered remotely until further notice.
JUDICIARY, DPP, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
- That the judiciary law enforcement remand and correctional facilities, as well as the office of the director of public prosecutions and other players and stakeholders in the criminal justice and civil justice system, is also to take immediate action to eliminate non-essential physical contact or situations within their areas of the mandate that may lead to crowding or propagation of the disease.
- That all hospitals are directed to limit the number of visitors for hospitalized patients to two visitors per patient that all physical meetings or events including social gatherings shall have a cap of no more than 15 persons until further notice.
- In regard to funeral cremations and other internment ceremonies, it is directed that these ceremonies shall be conducted strictly within 72 hours of confirmation of death.
- That the attendees’ officiators and facilitators of funerals or graveside or cremation ceremonies shall be limited to 50 persons in total.
- That the attendees’ officiators and facilitators of wedding celebrations of marriage or traditional union ceremonies or ceremonies of rites of passage and all other similar events or ceremonies shall be limited to 30 persons in total.
- That the prohibition against political gatherings is extended until otherwise directed
- That in view of the high mobility and mortality rates among those who are above 50 years of age those above 58 years of age shall be vaccinated as a priority.
During this first vaccination phase fellow Kenyans whereas the foregoing measures will indeed have some adverse effects on our economy and constrain our usual way of life, the measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.
I am personally convinced that the cost of not acting now would be far much greater in a moment like this. As a caring government, it is our solemn duty and indeed our cardinal responsibility to protect life above all else one life lost is one too many.
Our thoughts and indeed our prayers at this particular moment are with the families of those who have succumbed to this disease.
Fellow Kenyans this is not an enemy that we are called upon to fight with bullets and bombs but rather one that can be defeated by physical and social distancing, wearing of appropriate face masks, frequent handwashing with soap, and running water and compliance with all other anti-coronavirus guidelines and protocols.
I want to emphasize that COVID is an invisible enemy and the war against it is indeed complex. Government alone cannot fight it and win. As a government, we have co-created solutions where we act together with citizens in the private sector, faith groups, civil society, and community organizations in order to wage and win this war.
On my part, my administration will uphold its duty of care to the people of this republic and we will go to any length or breadth require to ensure that every single Kenyan is safe. And to you my fellow citizens you too have an equally important role to play.
The starting point as we have always said is for us to agree that government cannot police your morality or improve prudence and love for self and others individually Kenyans must shoulder their role in the fight against COVID -19.
Your health and that of your family that of your friends, that of your neighbors depends on the decisions that you make and the actions that you take. Government can and will undertake its duty but ultimately the success or failure of our nation’s efforts boils down to individuals and communal behavior by our citizenry.
Even as we do so I today urge all law enforcement officers to live true to their oath of office and to discharge their duties without fear or favor. If the government upholds its duty of care to the citizens and Kenyans one and all must respond by exercising their civic duty, then by the strength of our resolve our resourcefulness, and our unity as a nation we can and indeed we shall prevail.
I am confident that working together as a government upholding our duty of care to you our citizens and you as citizens responding by exercising your civic responsibility, we will defeat this third wave of COVID like we did before. And we will defeat it because we are all
doing our part and we shall be proud to say that every single individual did their part to the best of their ability staking youngest idea.