Nairobi Regional Commander Kang’ethe Thuku has reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing during the Madaraka Day celebrations to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Thuku, on Tuesday, May 31, underlined that citizens without face masks will be barred from attending the event at Uhuru Gardens after the positivity rate rose to 4.4 per cent.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead the celebrations on Wednesday, June 1.
"We are urging Kenyans intending to attend the celebrations at Uhuru Gardens to have their masks on just to be safe," Thuku stated.
The ministries of Health and Interior under Cabinet Secretaries Mutahi Kagwe and Fred Matiang'i respectively have, however, not yet issued an official statement to corroborate Thuku's directive.
Nonetheless, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache had called upon Kenyans to start embracing wearing face masks earlier on.
Speaking during the commemoration of World NO Tobacco Day, Mochache warned Kenyans against lowering their guard in the fight against the pandemic. She reiterated the importance of wearing a mask and being vaccinated.
“We have seen a rise in Coronavirus cases. That should tell you not to assume that it’s just a Flu. Go and get tested.
"You might assume, then get to a point where you are sick and urgently in need of Oxygen. I urge you to wear your mask and get vaccinated,” Mochache stated.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe vacated the mandatory mask requirement in public areas following consultations with other experts on March 11.
Meanwhile, the National Police Service issued a travel advisory ahead of the Madaraka celebrations.
Through a statement signed by police spokesperson, Bruno Shioso, it was noted that traffic on roads leading to Uhuru Gardens will be disrupted on a need basis.
Shioso added that the Nairobi traffic management department will deploy adequate law enforcement officers to man various roads.
Roads set to be affected include the Southern Bypass, Langata Road, and Raila Odinga Way - formerly known as Mbagathi Way.
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Wonie Bio and his wife Fatima Bio who are in the country on a five-day state visit, will join President Uhuru Kenyatta and other dignitaries at the celebrations.
Uhuru and Azimio La Umoja presidential aspirant, Raila Odinga, will later on head to Nyayo Stadium to watch the Mashemeji Derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
The winner of the Madaraka Cup match is expected to pocket a total of Ksh1 million, while the runners-up will get Ksh500,000. Uhuru is also expected to award both teams Ksh24 million as he promised on May 8.