UPDATE: Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday, March 31, declared Maanzoni Lodge a quarantine zone after 720 youth were found to meeting there on Monday, March 30.
The 720 youth were put under mandatory quarantine and will be released once they are tested for Covid-19.
The lodge was closed indefinitely on Tuesday, March 31.
Police officers on Monday, March 30, arrested Maanzoni hotel manager Chris Nzau and the leader of a youth group consisting of 720 people.
Officers who acted on a tip-off claimed that the group had convened to discuss Deputy President William Ruto's 2022 presidential campaign.
Machakos County Commissioner Esther Maina confirmed the incident and stated that charges would be leveled against the two.Machakos County Commissioner Esther Maina addressing journalists in October 2019.
"Yesterday, I got information from the public that there were 720 youth who were at Maanzoni lodge. Imagine, when we went there, we confirmed that it was true.
"We arrested the manager and Wachira, their youth leader," the county commissioner stated.
Maina added that the group was flouting the Public Health Act and the directive by the Ministry of Health to ensure that there was social distancing between individuals.
"How can they allow 720 people to stay together at a time when the country is fighting against the coronavirus pandemic?" she questioned.
Further, she stated that the two would be charged while the 720 youth would be screened and released.
According to the World Health Organisation, people are advised to maintain a social distance of at least 1 metre with anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
"When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease," WHO advises.
The incident came at a time when the government had instituted several measures to combat the spread of the virus including a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
On Monday, March 30, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe cautioned Kenyans against traveling to their villages from cities such as Nairobi in light of the spread of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.
Kagwe noted that figures warned that travelling upcountry put the elderly, many who stay in the rural area, at high risk of contracting the virus in the event that those who moved were infected.
"Statistics have shown that a majority of our old people live upcountry and that they are likely to get exposed as it happened in Italy by this kind of movement," he stated.Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.Simon KiraguKENYANS.CO.KE
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