Individuals found outside during the dusk-to-dawn curfew hours will be quarantined for 14 days, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi said on Sunday.
While issuing a daily update on COVID-19 pandemic, the CAS said the persons will be assumed to have come into contact with suspected cases of Coronavirus and hence placed under quarantine.
“Going forward, fellow Kenyans, all those who break the curfew rules will be assumed to have been in contact with suspected cases and hence will be quarantined for a period of 14 days,” Dr Mwangangi said as she announced eight new cases of COVID-19.
The government imposed the 7pm to 5am curfew on March 27, as part of the measures to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said people were being “careless” at night.
The curfew exempts groups such as medical practitioners and persons/businesses offering essential services.
At the same time, the CAS said community health policing and “Nyumba Kumi” Initiative will be enhanced in the coming days to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Some of the measures the government will be taking include using community health volunteers and deploying public health officers to man roadblocks together with the police.
“We will use technology in surveillance of those flouting curfew limits,” Mwangangi said.
Dr Mwangangi also confirmed that Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) are now testing COVID-19.
The CAS also warned Kenyans to be careful on masks they are buying as some rogue traders are now recycling Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and reselling them.
She stated that the ministry will issue guidelines on proper disposal of face masks.
“We have received disturbing news that some unscrupulous persons are recycling face masks after collecting them from bins and selling them to unsuspecting Kenyans. In particular, we’ve noticed the recycling of surgical masks and we’ve seen different pictures on social media, and we, therefore, say that this is criminal,” she said.
“We’re calling on the National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and other relevant government agencies to come and take action on those who are recycling masks and selling them to unsuspecting Kenyans.”
The CAS also put on notice liquor shop owners turning their business premises into drinking dens following the closure of bars. She noted that the businesses are only licensed to offer take away services.
Going forward, Dr Mwangangi said, persons found drinking at the establishments will be arrested and prosecuted. The businesses will also be shut down.