Counties face lockdown if coronavirus numbers rise sharply

Wednesday July 15 2020

Police officers at a roadblock during the recent lockdown of Mombasa Old Town. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Governors have said they will have no choice but to lock down their counties should they start recording alarming cases of Covid-19 following the removal of travel restrictions from the Mombasa and Nairobi hotspots, the Council of Governors (CoG) has said.

CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said on Wednesday that statistics recorded in the last one week are worrying, and the lockdown option will be considered where cases get out of hand, in consultation with President Kenyatta.


The last one week, Mr Oparanya said, had “recorded the highest number of deaths”.

Putting the figure at 12, the CoG boss added: “Reports indicated that three of these were community deaths. This should get all Kenyans alert and awake because the disease has begun to infiltrate communities.”

Of concern to the governors is Kenyans’ attitude, as they seem to have thrown caution to the wind.


“The country has only been opened for one week, and yet these are the statistics we’re beginning to see. As the CoG, we are acting with caution and alertness to stem the spread from one county to another,” he said.


“It is saddening to see in the media and also on the streets the ignorance displayed by Kenyans. Please note that we’re our brothers’ keepers, hence we’re encouraged to wear masks properly by covering our noses and mouths and not wearing them on our chin,” Mr Oparanya said.

“We should also observe social distancing and respect our neighbour’s space,” he added.

By Wednesday, the county governments had cumulatively set aside 271 isolation heath facilities, with a total of 12,034 beds. There are 447 ICU beds cumulatively in the counties and 437 ventilators dedicated to Covid-19 treatment.

The CoG indicated that the identified isolation facilities will be jointly inspected by both levels of government and gazetted by the Ministry of Health.


County governments are in a panic on handing of emergencies relating to Covid-19 cases after Health ministry withdrew ambulance services due to funding challenges.

Mr Oparanya said the move was a huge setback that might negate some of the efforts the counties have made in fighting the pandemic.