Yesterday, April 6, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned the movement in and out of Nairobi alongside the counties of Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale for 21 days to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Thorugh an address from State House in Nairobi, the Head of State indicated that the directive affected all passenger movement by road, rail and air, adding that movement of food and cargo will continue as usual.
“Any passenger carrying bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, vehicles, railway wagons, aircraft shall not be allowed in & out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa, ” said President Kenyatta.
Following the directive, a good number of Kenyans were left stranded outside and within Nairobi while trying to gain access after roadblocks were erected.
In a video circulated online, some citizens were captured devising mischievous ways to gain access to the city. For instance, Machakos residents were seen trying to enter the city through the banks of Athi River as they complained and blamed the government for their woes.
”You let in foreigners through the airports but now its Kenyans who are suffering from the pandemic,” one is quoted.
Don't know exactly where this is but it just shows the extent Kenyans will go to beat a roadblock. We have a very long way to go in this COVID-19 war pic.twitter.com/maCf3XZ86z
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@CisNyakundi) April 7, 2020
The video has ignited mixed reactions, with netizens claiming there is still a long way to go in curbing the COVID-19 spread in the country. Ideally, other people were in support of the citizens captured going against the directive citing that the order was given on short notice.
According to President Uhuru, the cessation of movement was aimed to stop the virus from spreading to other counties, as the four mentioned counties recorded the highest cases.
Currently, there are 158 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths, including a minor. The number is estimated to keep increasing due to failure to adhere to the directives by the Ministry of Health including the social distancing rule and the dusk till dawn curfew.
Roadblocks were erected at the following points:
1.Small world, Athi River
2. Katani, Mlolongo
4. Chania Bridge
5. Garissa Road Makutano Junction
7. Rironi, Maì Mahiu Junction
Here are some reactions from people following the video:
People can't & won't stay at home as long as GOK will not start delivering food or sending cash. The thing that makes people defy these measures is that the gov't isn't addressing the most basic issues – food, water, rent, electricity
— DONNOWHO (@Top__Shatta) April 7, 2020
— Steve Martin's 🇰🇪🇰🇪 (@StevoTinez) April 7, 2020
This lockdown was announced nikiwa jiani. Had already left Msa na curfew time ikafika nikiwa Voi. How am I supposed to stay for 21 days bila kuingia Nairobi? I mean, something should be done…
— 🄶🅄🄺🄴🄼🄱🄰 (@GukembaGachoki) April 6, 2020
You don’t issue a lockdown and implement immediately. People who live in Nairobi but drove buses and other commercial vehicles to Kisumu are now stuck there for 21 days.
No coming back.
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) April 6, 2020