COVID-19

Activist asks Uhuru to close Uganda, TZ borders

Open borders will fuel more infection into Kenya.

In Summary

• Moraa called for a total lockdown of the country for two weeks, and not just 10 hours.

• The Public Health Act gives Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe sweeping powers to ensure the safety of Kenyans should the need arise.  

Dr Myriam Sidibe, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Dr Amit Thakker during a Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Nairobi, on March 24, 2020.
Dr Myriam Sidibe, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Dr Amit Thakker during a Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Nairobi, on March 24, 2020.
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

President Uhuru Kenyatta has been asked to close Kenya's borders with Uganda and Tanzania. 

Political activist Truphena Moraa said open borders will fuel more infection into Kenya.

"Why will people be allowed to come into the country bringing more infection when Kenyans are quarantined? What benefits will Kenyans get or lose from incoming people apart from the virus," she said in an open letter to the President. 

Moraa also called for a total lockdown of the country for two weeks, and not just 10 hours.

"Close open markets in cities; places like Gikomba, bus stations, bars and hotels," she said. 

The Public Health Act gives Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe sweeping powers to ensure the safety of Kenyans should the need arise.  

During a pandemic such as the Covid-19 outbreak, the Public Health Act, also known as Cap242, gives the minister powers to enforce measures he believes will help contain the disease.

They include the authority to issue rules for speedy burial of the dead and for house-to-house visitation.  The CS can also prevent any person from leaving an infected area without medical examination, disinfection, inoculation, vaccination or revaccination.

He also has the final say on the release of persons quarantined at any hospital or the various observation camps.

Hundreds of individuals who returned from abroad are currently quarantined in various facilities across Nairobi.

The law gives Kagwe powers to order the destruction or disinfection of buildings, furniture, goods or other items which are likely to spread an infectious disease. The CS can also order the removal of persons who are suffering from an infectious disease and persons who have been in contact with them.

Under the Act, the CS also has powers to regulate hospitals where Covid-19 patients are admitted to and the observation camps.