President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired the Sixth Extraordinary Session of the National and County governments Summit on 4th of November 2020. The agenda was focused on COVID-19 and the decision made by the government to de-escalate COVID measures on 27th September 2020.
The National Emergency Response Committee and with the concurrence of the Sixth Extra-Ordinary Session of the National and County Governments decided on the following.
- All Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to scale-down all in-person engagements within Government and to take appropriate steps to foster the discharge of their mandates by themselves and their officers through virtual means where possible.
- All state and Public Officers aged above 58 years or who are immunocompromised to work remotely. With the exemption of those serving the nation in critical sectors.
- With respect to the Examination Classes that have already resumed learning, the president ordered that they continue with their learning and examination preparations under heightened health safety measures; with all other basic learning classes resuming in-person learning in January 2021.
- To foster the State’s preparedness towards the reopening of all other classes in our learning institutions, I, urge Members of Parliament to engage their respective NG-CDF Boards with a view of finding ways to augment the existing interventions that are geared towards reopening. I urge them to make investments that focus on additional handwashing points, face masks, general sanitation and physical distancing of students and teachers.
- All Political Gatherings and Rallies are Suspended for a period of 60 days with immediate effect. Anyone wishing to hold such meetings should do so in town halls and must observe all COVID protocols, including limiting the attendees to the one-third seating capacity of the hall.
- To enforce compliance at both the National and County level, president Kenyatta directs that the Ministry of Interior constitutes a Special Enforcement Unit made up of the National Police Service, National Government Administration Officers and supplemented by the County Government inspectorate units to jointly enforce compliance to COVID Protocols.
- That the nationwide curfew is extended up to 3rd January 2021.
- That beginning tonight 4th November, the curfew will now be enforced between 10.00 pm and 04.00 am.
- In consequence of the variation of the 10.00 pm curfew, all bars, restaurants, and other establishments open to the public must now close by 9.00 pm.
- In view of the restrictions within the hospitality sector, the president further urges all operators of Hotels, Restaurants, Eateries, Bars and establishments that sell alcohol on wholesale or retail terms to do all that is necessary to ensure enhanced compliance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidelines and Protocols.
- The directions governing religious gatherings remain unchanged: any indoor religious gathering other than for the purpose of a wedding or funeral shall have no more than one-third of its normal seating capacity occupied at a given sitting. The Ministry of Health guidelines remain in force. The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government are hereby directed to ensure strict enforcement.
- County governments to maintain isolation facilities in a state of preparedness through continuous capacity building for healthcare workers, provision of adequate PPEs for healthcare workers and continuous implementation of Infection Prevention and Control measures and provision of piped/portable oxygen.
- Where there is an upsurge of COVID-19 cases in a specific County, the National Government will consult with the affected county to issue localized lockdowns and movement restrictions as may be necessary to stem the spread of the disease.
- County governments and other relevant government agencies to enhance and strictly enforce all public health social measures including hand washing, social distancing and mandatory wearing of masks in public places. and;
- To enhance civic responsibility, the National and County Governments have resolved that going forward, services will not be rendered to anyone who does not abide by the Ministry of Health protocols. In that regard, “I call on the private sector to join the Government in the public sensitization campaign dubbed, ‘No mask, No service’ ‘Bila barakoa, hakuna huduma’.
In September Kenya’s COVID bed occupancy had initially gone down by 60% and we had flattened the curve to below the 5% positivity rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Currently, the occupancy has now gone up by 140% during the 38 days of easing COVID measures.
“Our most successful fight against this virus was recorded after the measures we took on July 27th 2020. The stringent measures saw a fall in new cases from 4720 during the first week of July 2020 to 866 new cases during the second week of September 2020. But when we de-escalated measures in September 2020, the 866 new cases recorded in the second week of September rose to 6402 cases by the last week of October 2020.” The president noted.