The number of cases of COVID-19 has in the recent days risen sharply countrywide, signaling an urgent need to review the mitigation measures put in place at the end of June 2021. Recent data from the hotspot counties in the Nyanza and Western regions show that the measures adopted and implemented by the Government resulted in marked decrease in the number of severe cases.
However, we are observing an increase in cases in other counties including Kiambu, Kajiado, Lamu, Makueni, Murang’a, Nairobi, Nyandarua, Taita Taveta and Tana River. This observation is consistent with projections of increased spread of COVID-19 in the months of July and August associated with the more transmissible Delta variant which is becoming the dominant strain.
This morning the National Emergency and Response Committee on Coronavirus held a meeting to review the obtaining situation on Covid-19. The meeting considered recommendations from the National COVID-19 Modelling Consortium following their meeting held yesterday Thursday, 29th July 2021. In view of these developments, NERCC emphasizes the following Presidential directives which are already in place;Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaking during an annual Akorino conference on Sunday 20 September 2020 at Kasarani, Nairobi.
1.In line with the directive to avoid crowded places where transmission has been shown to be more likely,
a. All public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature be suspended countrywide. In this regard, all Government including Intergovernmental meetings and conferences be converted to virtual or postponed.
b. All forms of physical/congregational worship in the country (churches, mosques, temples) be permitted as per the guidance of the Inter-Faith Council protocols. In-person worship should be limited to a third of the capacity of the venue in strict adherence with the guidelines and protocols of the Ministry of Health.
c. While indoors, maintain a physical distance of at least 1 meter between people not from the same household and observe hand and cough hygiene to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
d. All restaurants and eateries to ensure they operate in strict adherence to the protocols provided by the Ministry of Health.
e. The hours of the ongoing nationwide curfew to continue across the Country, starting from 10:00 p.m. and ending at 4:00 a.m. until further notice. This applies to the counties in the lake region as well.
2. All employers including public and private sector, Government offices, businesses and companies be directed to allow employees to work from home, except for employees working in critical or essential services, until further notice.
3. All healthcare workers are directed to use the recently revised Ministry of Health National Guidelines for the Case Management of suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patients. Members of the public are strongly advised against self-medicating and use of Over the Counter (OTC) medicines for treatment of respiratory tract infections but seek medical attention from qualified healthcare workers instead.
4. We continue to implore all Kenyans, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccines not to let their guard down, and urge them to avoid unnecessary movements and gatherings, employ physical distancing, observe strict hand hygiene and the proper and passionate use of facemasks both indoors and outdoors. Recent events show even vaccinated people can contract the disease although with less severity.
5. As the Government continues to make every effort to avail vaccines, we strongly encourage Kenyans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as will be guided from time to time. This is the surest way to get protected from COVID-19 and to protect our loved ones and everyone else from the disease. High vaccination coverage will allow our country to resume normalcy.Kenyatta Hospital, among the 16 hospitals listed for the vaccination process in Nairobi by Nairobi Metropolitan Services health director.
The Committee notes with concern that the weak link in the fight against the pandemic is non-compliance of individuals to containment measures and protocols and enforcement of the same. The Committee therefore urges every Kenyan to take individual responsibility and be part of the solution.
Further, the committee has noted that the response to Covid is not just a health matter and has encouraged all sectors to get involved and specific sector leads in Government and Private sector to engage their respective stakeholders in defining the necessary enforcement measures required. Sectors of particular interest are Trade and Industrialization, Transport, Education, Interior, Sports, Tourism and Religious led by the Inter-faith Council. Sector leads will be addressing the country on these measures in the next few days.
With regards to Education Sector;
a. The Current evidence and data does not reflect increase in cases among learning institutions. Indeed, morbidity and mortality among school going children has been low.
b. Nonetheless, to ensure safe continued learning in our educational institutions, all teachers are strongly implored to present themselves for vaccination against COVID-19. This is to safeguard our future generation by ensuring access to quality education that will potentially boost Kenya’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With regards to the Counties;
a. As the Government makes arrangements to install Oxygen plants, counties are urged to ramp up efforts to install oxygen piping in their healthcare facilities to ensure maximum utilization of the plants.
b. Counties are also urged to actively ramp up the necessary infrastructure, including critical care facilities, isolation centers, increased human resource and testing capacity.
c. Counties are further urged to ensure they have adequate PPE’s. In this regard, KEMSA is directed to supply the PPEs to counties despite their pending bill status.
d. Counties are called upon to ensure they enforce the 72-hour period of disposal of remains of deceased persons and ascertain that licensed funeral homes adhere to these guidelines.suspect fight
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