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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

New COVID-19 containment measures announced for 13 Counties in Western Kenya

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Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has individually and collectively declared the Counties of Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kericho, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay and Migori as COVID-19 hotspot zone.

This follows increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the region accounting 60% of Kenya’s caseload.

COVID-19 positivity rate in the aforementioned counties now averages 21% against a national average of 9%.

The surge of infections in these counties is further compounded by their proximity to the Republic of Uganda, which has similarly reported a surge of COVID-19 infections.

In order to break the cycle of infections in the affected areas, and following consultations with the Council of Governors, and with the concurrence of the National Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 and in the exercise of the authority vested on the Cabinet Secretary for Health by the Public Health Act, CS Kagwe has ordered the following containment measures:

  1. That effective 18th June 2021 the following containment measures shall apply within the COVID-19 hotspot zone:
  • That the curfew within the hotspot zone shall be observed between 07:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. daily;
  • Except for essential and emergency services, movement between the hotspot Zone and the rest of the country is strongly discouraged;
  • All cross-border cargo drivers shall be required to possess a valid certificate indicating a negative COVID-19 test that was conducted no more than 48 hours before commencing

their journey, and each cargo truck shall be limited to only 2 persons per vehicle;

  • That, weekly non-food and livestock markets are hereby suspended in the Hotspot Zone for a period of 30 days;
  • All public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are prohibited within the Hotspot Zone, including house parties and sporting activities;
  • All funerals and interment ceremonies within the Hotspot Zone shall be conducted within 72 hours of confirmation of death;
  • Night Vigils and overnight processions prior to funerals are prohibited within the Hotspot Zone until further notice;
  • That the attendees for funerals within the Hotspot Zone are capped to a maximum of 50 persons until further notice;
  • That the attendees, officiators, and facilitators of weddings, celebrations of marriage or traditional unions, ceremonies of rites of passage, and all other similar events or ceremonies is maintained at 30 persons in total until further notice;
  • All forms of physical/congressional worship (churches, mosques, temples and shrines) in the hotspot counties are suspended for a period of 30 days;
  • All employers including the public and private sector, government offices, businesses and companies in the Hotspot Zone are advised to allow employees to work from home, with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services;
  • In accordance with the Public Order No.3 of 2021, all hospitals within the Hotspot Zone are directed to limit the number of visitors for hospitalized patients to one (1) visitor per patient per time until further notice; and
  • For the avoidance of doubt, the hours of the ongoing nationwide curfew shall continue to be observed in the rest of the country, from 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. daily.

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