Mass Cancellation of Events After Coronavirus Hits Kenya

  • Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media
    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
  • UPDATE: Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom matches were on Friday, March 13 halted until further notice following the confirmation of coronavirus in the country.

    The ban constituted all grassroots and regional final matches.


    UPDATE: Trading was on Friday, March 13, halted at the Nairobi Securities Exchange after the benchmark index plunged at 5%.

    NSE Equity Trading Rules provides that when the NSE 20 share Index decreases by more than 5% at the opening session compared to its closing value or during the continuous session, compared to its opening value, the Exchange may temporarily halt trading for not more than 30 minutes.

    Further, Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) stated that normal market activity will resume on Monday, March 16.


    UPDATE: Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui announced that the BBI rally set to take place on Saturday, March 21, had been rescheduled.


    UPDATE: Kenya Rugby Union on Friday, March 13, suspended all league matches for Saturday, March 14, 2020, after the government banned all public gatherings.

    "In light of ongoing developments resulting from the announcement of an active COVID 19 (New Corona Virus) case in the country, and the directive from the Kenyan Health Ministry that among other things, bans public gatherings, the Kenya Rugby Union is announcing the suspension of the 2019-20 season," read a statement from KRU.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a health committee sitting on Wednesday, March 11
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during a health committee sitting on Wednesday, March 11
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    The suspension starts with fixtures set for 14 March 2020 across the Kenya Cup, KRU Championship, KRU Nationwide and Eric Shirley Shield competitions.

    At the same time, the World Rugby postponed the women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series tournament which Kenya was to participate in on 28-29 March.

    "The health and safety of participating teams, tournament event staff and spectators is our highest priority. This proactive decision has been taken to help protect the global rugby community and the wider public and was taken based on the World Health Organisation and relevant public authority travel and health guidelines," their statement read.
     


    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday, March 13, stated that all public activities, meetings, religious crusades, games and all events were banned after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Kenya.

    Speaking during a press conference at Harambee House, CS Mutahi stated that there was no exception made.

    "The decision has been made to ban all public rallies, there is no exception.

    "We have suspended all public activities, meetings, religious crusades, games and all events that are of a huge public measure. Normal church services can go on provided that they provide sanitising and hand washing as people go into the worshipping areas. We have also suspended all inter-school events but schools remain open," Mutahi declared.

    "Public Service providers are directed to provide hand sanitisers for their clients and wash their vehicles regularly. We have banned all visits to prison for 30 days. We have placed travel restrictions outside the country, unless necessary," he added.

    The CS also directed that persons with a cough or sneeze should stay home and maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing.

    Lastly, he called on all Kenyans to be cautious and work towards a collective responsibility. 

    "This is that time when we are calling for serious citizen responsibility. This is not a situation where we depend on the government. It is time we take responsibility as a nation," Kagwe rallied.

    The Health Ministry confirmed the first case of coronavirus on Friday.

    "I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case in Kenya. It was confirmed last night, Thursday, March 12.

    "She is a Kenyan citizen who traveled back to Nairobi returning from the US via London, UK on March 5, 2020," Mutahi stated during the press conference.

    The ban of the rallies comes amidst a heated conversation over the BBI rally that is set to take place on Saturday, March 21 in Nakuru.

    On Friday, March 12, Deputy President William Ruto's allies vowed to take full charge of the Nakuru BBI meeting.

    The DP's allies claimed that they would not allow leaders who are not from the region to take over the meeting.

    On the other hand, National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed stated that ODM politicians would be in Nakuru to attend a meeting organised by Governor Lee Kinyanjui and not Tanga Tanga leaders.

    A photo of Ruto-allied lawmakers led by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi during a press briefing at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
    Ruto-allied lawmakers led by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi during a press briefing at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
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