- Kenya’s borders with Tanzania, Somalia to be closed for 30 days
- Nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew extended by 21 days
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday extended nationwide curfew together with the cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi Metropolitan, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, and Mandera to June 6.
“The cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa and Mandera that is currently in force shall also be extended upto and until June 6, 2020,” he said.
In addition, the President announced the closure of Tanzania and Somalia borders with the exception of cargo vehicles following the rise of cross-border Covid-19 transmission.
“In the last week we have unfortunately witnessed an increased number of imported cases among individuals crossing into our countries through our borders; these areas have become a matter of grave concern to us,” President Uhuru said in a televised news conference from State House, Nairobi.
According to the Head of State, 43 cases crossed into Kenya from Somalia and Tanzania. Out of these, 14 crossed the border at Wajir, Namanga (16), Isebania (10), Lunga Lunga (2), and one from the Loitoktok border point.
“These 43 cases represent almost a quarter of the 166 confirmed infections during this last week,” said Kenyatta.
“I am today directing as follows that there will be a cessation of movement of persons and any passenger ferrying, automobiles into and out of the Republic of Kenya through the Kenya-Tanzania International Border except for cargo vehicles with effect from midnight (Saturday 16,2020),” said President Kenyatta stated that the same would apply to the Kenya – Somalia border.
All cargo truck drivers are to be tested for Covid-19 and will only be allowed entry into Kenya if they test negative.
“If we had not taken that intervention the imported cases through our borders would today have accounted for more than 50 percent of this week’s infections. These numbers and the spread of infections clearly indicate that if no action is taken all the gains already achieved in combating this pandemic will undoubtedly be lost,” he said.
“I know there is growing global pressure for easing of measures against this disease and for all of us to get back to normal. We are going to step up our defence by employing stricter, more localised prevention actions,” he said.
President cautioned Kenyans to heed the government directives in order to avoid further stringent measures.
Saturday, 49 new cases were confirmed bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Kenya to 830. Fatalities rose to 50 after 5 new deaths were recorded by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry said 481 cases were undergoing treatment.
✔️49 new positive cases today
✔️Total confirmed cases stand at 830
✔️17 new recoveries today
✔️Total discharged and recovered stands at 301
✔️5 new fatalities today
✔️Total fatalities stand at 50#KomeshaCorona
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) May 16, 2020
“I send my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those we have lost. The life of every Kenyan is precious. I, together with millions of Kenyans mourn for the lost dreams cut short so suddenly by this disease,” said President Kenyatta. ” We empathise with the tears and misery of those they have left behind. May our God take them into his embrace and comfort their loved ones.”
“Despite limited official reports, all evidence points to an exponential growth of the epidemic in Dar and other locations in Tanzania,” the statement reads.
According to the American embassy, the Tanzanian government has not released any data on COVID since April 29, so there is no current data on the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country.