As the government continues to issue stringent measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), President Uhuru Kenyatta says a total lockdown would be far fetched.
In an interview with local Kikuyu radio stations (Inooro, Coro and Kameme), the Head of State said the option would be the last resort when all other measures have failed.
Citing challenges related to provision of food capacity, President Kenyatta said a lockdown will lead to untold suffering.
“We do not want to lockdown Kenyans in their houses like in other countries because what will they eat,” the President said.
The President, however, warned that if worse comes to worst then the government will have no option but to impose a lockdown, just like neighbouring country Uganda.
“If we don’t follow the directives given by the government we shall have no option than ordering for lockdown. But I know the implications of lockdown and that’s why I don’t want us to follow that route, ” he added.
The President’s remarks come just hours after he banned travel in and out of Nairobi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale Counties.
The cessation of movement in Nairobi came into effect yesterday at 7pm.
However, in the three Coastal region counties, the directive will come into effect on Wednesday, April 8 from 7pm.
The President clarified on Tuesday, during the interview, that persons with doctors’ appointments will be allowed to travel to Nairobi
The President designated the Nairobi metropolitan area as the following places: Nairobi city county; parts of Kiambu County up to Chania River bridge, Thika, Rironi, Ndenderu, Kiambu Town; parts of Machakos County up to Athi River including Kathani; parts of Kajiado County including Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai, and Ngong town.
“These additional measures do not in any way nullify the existing daily nationwide curfew of 7pm-5am,” the President said.
President Kenyatta announced the cessation of movement in the four counties after 16 more people tested positive for COVID-19 raising the number of confirmed cases in the country to 158.
The President said two more people had succumbed to the virus raising the number of COVID-19 related deaths confimed in the country to six.
While issuing the directive the Head of State noted that majority of those who have contracted the disease are from the four counties.
The President said 82 per cent of COVID-19 have been in Nairobi and 14 per cent have been in the other Coastal counties.
“We must avoid all areas and comply with government directives and we must be careful,” he said.