Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has declared Maanzoni Lodge a quarantine centre with 720 youths who found in the facility forced to undergo isolation and testing before being released.
The lodge, which is located in Machakos County reportedly held a gathering of approximately 720 youths over the weekend and was thus indefinitely closed for having gone against the government directives of social distancing amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) menace in the country.
CS MUTAHI KAGWE declares Maanzoni Lodge a quarantine area. 720 youth found meeting at the facility, despite social distancing and congregating advisories from @MOH_Kenya. They will all be quarantined and tested before being released.
— Spokesperson GoK (@SpokespersonGoK) March 31, 2020
According to online sources, the youths spent the whole weekend meeting and training for an unclear agenda with their financier not disclosed.
Following the gathering, police officers stormed the facility and questioned the management on Tuesday, March 31 before it was indefinitely closed down.
Athi River Sub-County Police Commander Catherine Ringera stated that the Lodge’s managing Director Chris Musau and two youths who spearheaded the event through their lawyer indicated that they did not err in hosting the event.
On March 25, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared countrywide dusk till dawn (7PM to 5AM) curfew that was effected on Friday, March 27.
“Effective Friday 27th March 2020, a daily curfew from 7PM to 5AM, shall be in effect in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, with all movement by persons not authorized to do so or not being medical professionals, health workers, critical and essential services providers, being prohibited between those hours,” he said.
Other critical service providers exempted from the curfew are health workers, National Security, Administration and Coordination officers, Public Health and Sanitization Officers in the County Governments, licensed pharmacies and drug stores, licensed broadcasters and media houses and Kenya Power.
Food dealers, distributors, wholesalers and transporters of farm produce, licensed supermarkets, mini markets and hypermarkets, licensed distributors and retailers of petroleum and oil products and lubricants, licensed telecommunication operators and service providers, licensed banks, financial institutions and payment financial services, fire brigade and other emergency response services and licensed security firms were also exempted.
Although a majority of people observed the directive on the first day, there were some commotions in different parts of the country with police officers and residents engaged in running battles.
There were also instances of police brutality where videos circulated online captured the officers brutally beating unarmed Kenyans.
According to the Head of State, the curfew and Stay at Home directive is aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19 that currently has totaled 59 confirmed cases and one death.