'In future, we may be forced to close them (bars) down altogether but for the time being, I would call upon the operators to change the sitting patterns in the joints and no more than three people should occupy one table'
Bars and other entertainment joints in Nyeri county have been ordered to ensure not more than three people occupy a table to prevent a possible spread of coronavirus.
Governor Mutahi Kahiga on Friday issued the orders and criticised operators for not taking the fights against the Covid-19 seriously by observing social distance.
He said bar operators must also strictly observe timelines set for the closing of bars and entertainment joints.
The government on Friday announced that bars and entertainment joints close by 7:30 pm.
Kahiga said it was sad that bar patrons were still crowding at tables and called on operators to ensure social distance is observed.
“In future, we may be forced to close them (bars) down altogether but for the time being, I would call upon the operators to change the sitting patterns in the joints and no more than three people should occupy one table,” Kahiga said.
Social distance, he said, should also apply in churches and anywhere many people congregate.
This, he said, is the only way people can observe social distance as advised by the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Response Committee.
A notice to members of the public released on 17 March and signed by Health executive Rachel Kamau directed that all bars, restaurants and all persons selling alcohol to close by 10 pm daily.
“Night clubs and discotheques are further instructed to cease operations by 11 pm every day until further notice,” it stated.
The directive followed the confirmation of coronavirus cases in the country. That directive has however been overcome with time after the state issued another directing bar to close by 7:30pm from Monday.
Kahiga on Friday asked residents to stop panicking whenever someone is taken to the Mt. Kenya Hospital or any other health facility for testing.
“This is going on everywhere in the country. Whenever we suspect that one is exhibiting the symptoms of coronavirus, we are taking action immediately and taking them to hospital for further examinations,” the governor said.
He assured residents that there is no cause for alarm as no one had tested positive of Covid-19 in Nyeri. The governor asked residents to stop spreading rumours that may cause panic.
There was panic last week after a man went to Mukurwe-ini Hospital after experiencing fever only for medics to realise that he was suffering from malaria after undergoing several tests.
He said there are many other diseases that cause high fever and called on residents to be calm.
"But the government is not leaving anything to chance as the disease is highly contagious. Kindly report anyone exhibiting the symptoms," Kahiga said.
The county had issued hotline numbers.
Vehicles mounted with loudspeakers, he said, have been going around the county sensitising residents on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Kahiga asked the public to continue observing hygiene by washing their hands with running water and soap.
edited by peter obuya