Mutahi Kagwe Considers Lockdown After Cases Spike

  • Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaking during a presser outside Kenyatta National Hospital, April 2020.
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaking during a presser outside Kenyatta National Hospital, April 2020.
    File
  • Health CS Mutahi Kagwe is said to be considering introducing new measures to mitigate the increase in Covid-19 Cases.

    Sources close to CS Kagwe revealed that he has called for an urgent meeting of the National Emergency Response Committee to be held on Sunday, October 18 to brainstorm on how to curb the rising number of cases.

    The Health CS is expected to recommend some restrictions to President Uhuru Kenyatta who has always maintained that another lockdown is always on the table, should the situation deteriorate. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta at the National Prayer Day at State House on October 10, 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta at the National Prayer Day at State House on October 10, 2020
    File

    During his last speech on September 28, when he lifted the restrictions on gatherings, and clubs, the President put the onus on Kenyans that their civic duty would be tested to keep the spread of the virus down. That day, 53 people had tested positive and the country had a positivity rate of 4.4%

    In the last week, 2,034 have tested positive, with Friday’s positivity rate increasing to 10%. 

    “I will not hesitate to escalate containment measures in the event any of these indicators register on my dashboard,” President Kenyatta had warned. 

    The increase in the number of cases has been attributed to reckless abandon with which Kenyans have resumed their daily activities.

    Political gatherings which have been held without adherence to the safety guidelines have also contributed in the spread of the virus. 

    CS Kagwe is concerned that the spike in Covid-19 cases could plunge the country into an undesirable crisis even as the ministry allays fears of a second wave. 

    Acting Director-General of Health Patrick Amoth argues that the rising numbers cannot be equated to a second wave since the first phase of the virus has not been eliminated.

    “Returning to stricter restrictions is definitely an option as was stated by President Kenyatta. The Ministry of Health has a duty to ensure that we are a healthy nation. Should we witness a surge, then that will be our final option for the good of the country,” Amoth stated during a Q&A session with members of the public on Wednesday, October 14.

    An image of Patrick Amoth
    Ministry of Health acting Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth speaking to the media at Afya House.
    The Standard