By Mourice Seretta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday issued new Covid-19 containment measures in a bid to curb the rising cases of the virus in the country and the worry of a third wave.
Addressing the nation from State House Nairobi flanked by several government officials and the Council of Governors, the President ordered that all forms of political gatherings and social gatherings remain banned for 30 days commencing midnight of 12th March 2021.
“Today I direct that all forms of political gatherings be and are hereby prohibited for a period of 30 days effective midnight on this 12 of March 2021. This order shall be enforced regardless of the social status of those planning the political gatherings,” the Head of State directed.
The President directed that those attending funerals and weddings should not exceed 100 people.
He also ordered that funerals and cremations be conducted at least 72 hours after death, with not more than 100 allowed to attend.
President Kenyatta also extended the night curfew for 60 days effective midnight of 12th March 2021 and ordered bars, restaurants and other social amenities to close by 9pm.
“Because in the past our policy decisions have been guided by science, data and evidence, we will continue to be guided by the scientific evidence.” The President said.
On the pandemic and the economy, the President said that it afflicted and wounded many businesses to the point of collapse, while some are in the mode of recovery as many also remained unbowed.
“Fellow Kenyans, we tend to forget quickly but let me remind you that experts warned us that if we hadn’t taken speedy action, we’d have had a million Covid-19 cases today. We chose life over our economy. You can always revive the economy but you cannot revive a lost life.” He said.
He further said that the economy was projected to grow by 6% last year but it only grew by 0.6%. He added that it was the price the country had to pay in 2020 for the bold decision the government made to save the lives of Kenyans.
“During this long year our economy was in distress but as much as it was in distress it did not cave-in, our health system too was overstretched but thanks to God was never overwhelmed” the President further offered.
President Kenyatta disclosed that Kenya lost Sh560bn in 2020 due to Covid-19 containment measures seeing 6.2pc economic projection shrink to 0.6pc.
He asked Kenyans to continue obeying the containment measures that include proper wearing of the mask, social distancing, washing hands or sanitizing in a bid to flatten the rising curve.
He also said, whether jokingly or not, that if he is also found flouting any containment measures, he should be arrested.