Highlights of the 15th presidential address on coronavirus pandemic on 26th March 2021:
➡️The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in January 2021 was 4,380; this has now shot to 15,916 confirmed cases by 21st March 2021. At the end of January 2021, our COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 2.6%. By Monday 22nd March 2021, the positivity rate had jumped to 19%; and indications by our experts is that the positivity rate is now settling at 22%.
➡️if you test 100 Kenyans for COVID today, 20 will be positive; compared to January this Year, when only 2 would have been positive. This tells us that our rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and March 2021.
➡️It is clear indication of new trend, that now Kenya is squarely in the grip of a third wave of the Pandemic.
- In terms of geographical impact, Nairobi County accounts for close to 60% of the recorded cases. What this means is that, out of every 10 positive cases countrywide, six (6) are from Nairobi. In other words if we took a random sample of five (5) people in Nairobi and tested them for COVID, three (3) are likely to be positive.
➡️The rising death rate from COVID. Between January and February 2021, three (3) people died every day from COVID; in March 2021, the number has gone up to seven (7) every day, the highest since this pandemic hit us.
➡️COVID crisis has TESTED our health system. Over the last one month, we have experienced a steep and sustained rise in the number of admissions for COVID-19 across the country.
- Since 12th March, 7,630 Kenyans have been admitted into our hospitals for COVID-19. Yet before my address to the nation on March 12th, 4,990 Kenyans had been admitted. In 13 days only, our admission rate increased by 52%.
➡️In January 2021, an average of 20 Kenyans were in Intensive Care Units, needing Oxygen. This number went up to just under 30 persons in the month of February.
➡️On 12th of March, over 950 Kenyans were in ICU wards for COVID related complications.This confirms the fact that a Third Wave of COVID-19 is at hand in Kenya.This wave is expected to peak in the next 30 days with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases reported daily.
➡️To avert a national health crisis and upon the advice of the National Security Council, the Council of Governors, and also in keeping with the recommendations of the National Emergency Response Committee on COVID-19, I hereby issue the Public Order No. 2 of 2021 on the Coronavirus Pandemic, as follows:
I. 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, those Counties are individually and collectively declared a disease infected area;
II. That there shall be cessation of all movement by road, rail, or air into and out of the disease infected area as one zoned area comprising of the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru, effective Midnight tonight
– Meaning, Saturday 27th March, 2021; until otherwise notified;
III. That all public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are suspended within the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru until further notice;
IV. That all in-person meetings of the Cabinet and its Committees, with the exception of meetings of the National Security Council are suspended until further notice;
V. That with the concurrence of the parliamentary leadership of both Houses of Parliament, and with the concurrence of County leadership; the Ordinary Sessions of the August Houses including those of their Committees, and the Ordinary Sessions of the County Assemblies of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru, are hereby suspended, until further notice;
VI. 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 well as the Speakers of the respective County Assemblies;
VII. That international travel into and out of the territory of the Republic shall continue in accordance with the existing guidelines on Foreign/International Travel.
VIII. 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 the PCR Certificate also having been validated under the Trusted Travel platform for those travelling by air;
IX. That the hours of the ongoing nationwide curfew are revised to commence at 8:00pm and end at 4:00am in the Zoned Area comprising of the Counties of Nairobi, Machakos,
Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru. In that regard, the rest of the country will observe curfew between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. daily, effective tomorrow, Saturday, 27th day of March, 2021;
X. In light of the abuse of curfew passes and exemptions and its role in the steep increase in infections, The Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government jointly with the Ministry of Health are directed to immediately review the protocols for reissuance of curfew passes and exemptions. In that regard, in the intervening period all passes issued are hereby vacated;
XI. That all physical/In-person and congregational worship in ALL places of worship in the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru stands suspended until otherwise notified;
XII. That in regard to the other forty-two (42) counties in/person worship and congregational worship shall continue to be conducted in keeping with the one-third rule and in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Faith Council;
XIII. With respect to Education in Kenya, there shall be the immediate suspension of all on-going 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;
XIV. That all sporting activities are hereby suspended, similarly operations of sporting and recreational facilities including Members Clubs are suspended until it is otherwise directed;
XV. That in line with the directive on Public Gatherings including Social Gatherings, the following measures are to come into effect commencing Midnight on Friday, 26th March, 2021:
➡️Operations of bars is suspended in the Counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru. Similarly, the sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries in the five (5) Counties is prohibited, until further notice;
➡️All restaurants and eateries in the Counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru shall provide takeaway services only;
➡️The operations of bars, restaurants and eateries in the other forty-two (42) Counties shall continue as is, but they shall at all times be conducted in strict fidelity to Ministry of Health Guidelines, failure to which appropriate action against management, staff, patrons, and premises shall be taken;
➡️Public Transport Operators are directed to strictly uphold the re-designated 60% carrying capacity; and
The County Emergency Response Committees are directed to enforce implementation of infection prevention control measures in markets-such as hand washing stations; while also ensuring that all sellers and buyers must be fully masked and maintain physical distance.
XVI. That all employers and enterprises of whatever nature including public bodies, the private sector, government offices, and others are directed to allow employees to work from home, with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services that cannot be delivered remotely, until further notified;
XVII. That the Judiciary, Law Enforcement, Remand and Correctional Facilities, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other players and stakeholders in the criminal justice and civil justice systems are to take immediate action to eliminate non- essential physical contact or situations within their areas of mandate that may lead to crowding or propagation of the Disease;
XVIII. That all hospitals are directed to limit the number of visitors for hospitalized patients to two visitors per patient;
XIX. That all physical meetings or events including social gatherings shall have a cap of no more than 15 persons until further notified;
XX. In regard to funerals, cremations and other interment ceremonies, it is directed that these ceremonies shall be conducted strictly within 72 hours of confirmation of death;
XXI. That the attendees, officiators, and facilitators of funerals or graveside/cremation ceremonies shall be limited to 50 persons in total;
XXII. That the attendees, officiators, and facilitators of weddings, celebrations of marriage or traditional unions, ceremonies of rites of passage, and all other similar events or ceremonies shall be limited to 30 persons in total;
XXIII. That the prohibition against political gatherings is extended until otherwise directed; and
XXIV. That in view of the high morbidity 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 1st phase.
*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 facemasks, frequent hand washing with
soap and running water.