CONTAINMENT MEASURES

Matiang'i warns over possible restrictions in Nyanza counties to curb Covid-19 spread

Hospitals in Kisumu have been overstretched as more Covid cases emerge.

In Summary

• Speaking at Kenya School of Government on Wednesday, Matiangi said they are monitoring the trend and will announce the way forward soon.

• On Tuesday, more than 150 people were arrested and charged in Kisumu for failing to wear face masks, keep social distance and other violations of Covid-19 rules.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i during a meeting with Regional and County Commissioners in Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on June 16, 2021.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i during a meeting with Regional and County Commissioners in Kenya School of Government in Nairobi on June 16, 2021.
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

Interior CS Fred Matiangi has warned that the government might announce restrictions in some Western and Nyanza counties to tame the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at Kenya School of Government on Wednesday, Matiangi said they are monitoring the trend and will announce the way forward soon.

"I know that we're up to the task and by the end of today we will have a decision and we would consult and see how to enhance the containment in Nyanza counties," he said.

"It may lead to new measure to deal with movement and social activities to manage the spread. Managing Covid-19 has been a hard task but with coordination from the Ministry of Health, we have not been defeated. "

Public and private hospitals in Kisumu have overstretched their capacities as more cases of Covid-19 emerge.

The county government is set to scale up testing after receiving 6,000 rapid testing kits from the Ministry of Health, Health executive Boaz Nyunya said.

Kisumu Central remains the epicentre of the disease in the county, followed by Kisumu East and Kisumu West. All the subcounties have cases.

On Tuesday, more than 150 people were arrested and charged in Kisumu for failing to wear face masks, keep social distance and other violations of Covid-19 rules.

County police commander Samuel Anampiu said the arrests follow an intensified crackdown on those breaking the rules in the last two weeks. 

The arrests have been made in public service vehicles, bars and restaurants.

A multi-agency team has been conducting swoops at bars and restaurants that have failed to comply with the 7 pm closing time. 

Kisumu has in recent weeks been recording high numbers of new Covid-19 infections, with the Indian variant being reported in the county.

Last week, a meeting in Kisumu chaired by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and county commissioner Josephine Ouko announced sweeping and stringent containment measures aimed at disrupting the spread of the virus.

They said an operation would be conducted to ensure residents adhered to the rules.

At least two county courts are to be revived and gazetted in the next few days to help handle those flouting the Covid-19 protocols like wearing masks.