CASES ESCALATING

Noreb governors want return to tough Covid-19 rules

Bring back 7pm curfew, shut down bars and restaurants, enforce mask wearing; but allow travel.

In Summary

• The eight governors say the pandemic was now widespread within the communities and they fear an explosion of the disease was imminent.

• Want return to a shut down of all hotels and bars, suspension of all meetings, return to longer curfew hours. 

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago in Eldoret on February 30
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago in Eldoret on February 30
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Governors in the North Rift have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to shut down all hotels and bars, suspend meetings and add curfew hours to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

These measures were put in place at the outbreak of the coronavirus but were gradually eased to revive the economy. 

But the eight governors from the North Rift Economic Bloc said the pandemic was now widespread within the communities and they fear an explosion of the disease was imminent.

 
 

“Generally it has been noted that the public has relaxed on adherence to Covid-19 containment measures and as a result infections are on the increase.  The government must revert to initial containment measures set out at the start of the pandemic,” the governors said in a statement.

The only exception the governors want is that residents be allowed travel. 

Still, they complained that the matatu sector and many other Kenyans were openly defying the containment measures in a reckless manner likely to cause a faster spread of the virus.

The county chiefs held a virtual meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the region ahead of a summit between all the governors and President Kenyatta on Monday in Nairobi.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago who chairs Noreb led the meeting that was also attended by Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO Dr Wilson Aruasa.

Governors Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia, Josphat Nanok of Turkana and Alex Tolgos of Elgeyo Marakwet were among those in attendance.

The region has so far recorded more than 250 patients. Uasin Gishu has the bulk with more than 200 cases followed by Turkana which has more than 22 cases. However, Samburu, Baringo and West Pokot are yet to register any case.

 

 The governors called for tougher measures, including cessation of movement in and out of areas identified as hotspots within the counties.

They said that based on up-to-date data and as part of long term mitigation plans to avoid a resurgence of Covid-19 there was a need to implement targeted containment interventions specific to a county, region or estate. 

 
 

“This is, for example, locking down hotspot estates like Langas in Uasin Gishu county,” Mandago said.

The governors said political leaders have the capacity to mobilise their supporters by airing out necessary communication on Covid-19.

Mandago said they are working on protocols to strengthen home-based care that will be used to handle asymptomatic patients.

However, they complained that some of the requirements or material for home-based care must be provided for the system to work effectively.