Covid-19: City Hall cracks down on traders breaking rules

Wednesday May 13 2020
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Nairobi Health Services Executive Hitan Majevdia who has said that city traders flouting Covid-19 guidelines on crowding in public places will face legal action. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

The Nairobi City County government has begun a crackdown on businesses flouting Covid-19 guidelines on crowding in public places, with those found culpable set to face legal action.

Nairobi Health Services Executive Hitan Majevdia said that the county government’s compliance officers have already swung into action, with owners of such businesses now facing arrest for non-compliance. The traders also risk losing their licences.

He complained that a number of bars, restaurants and food outlets, especially in residential areas, are still serving customers behind closed doors as opposed to offering takeaway services as was directed by the Ministry of Health.

VIRUS EPICENTRE

Nairobi County has been declared the epicentre of the coronavirus in Kenya, with at least 60 confirmed cases out of the 142 reported nationwide as of April 5, 2020.

“With the rising number of Covid-19 cases, most of which are concentrated in Nairobi, we will not allow anyone to undermine our efforts in curbing the spread of this deadly virus,” said Mr Majevdia.

“Let me warn that if found, the owners will be arrested and their licences withdrawn. The compliance teams are notified to ensure [adherence],” he added.

However, the Health CEC said that some bars, restaurants and food outlets have fully complied with the Ministry of Health’s directives in an effort to avoid crowding in public places.

ADHERE TO RULES

“Let us all take full responsibility of safeguarding our city by strictly adhering to the guidelines put in place,” he said.

Last week, City Hall warned that businesses found operating in Nairobi in contravention of the dusk-to-dawn curfew order by President Uhuru Kenyatta will be closed.

Such businesses were warned that their licences will be withdrawn if found flouting the directive.

"All restaurants, bars and food outlets found flouting the restrictions put in place risk having their licences withdrawn. We must all take responsibility and exercise high level of discipline to ensure the gains so far realised do not go to waste," said Mr Majevdia at the time.

Last month, President Kenyatta imposed a 7pm to 5am curfew to limit movements of people and social gatherings, with only those providing essential services being exempted.