Many people are anticipating that on 7th July, they will be able to freely travel upcountry from Nairobi and Mombasa counties. This is anchored on a wish that President Uhuru Kenyatta will re-open the counties and lift the cessation of movement directives prohibiting movements in and out of the two counties as a measure to combat the spread of COVID-19.
But on a closer look of how things are unfolding, this wish might prove too early to be granted to Kenyans. In his address to the country weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that he will not hesitate to implement even much more strict measures including a total lock-down of the mentioned areas if the current measures in place are not adhered to by the general population.
It can now be revealed from various speculations from close sources to the president and ministry of health task force that President Uhuru will yet again deliver another shocker with the current unfolding on the trend and the spread of the virus especially in Nairobi and Mombasa counties. It is important to note that the Ministry of Health together with their disaster management experts have already advised the President and the government not to open and lift lock downs in the above mentioned regions. It is therefore highly likely that on 6th July when the President will deliver his address, he will extend the cessation for another 30 days as the country waits for all the 47 counties to prepare to handle cases locally should there be a surge.
Authoritative sources have also given a huge hint that the earliest time people in Nairobi could be allowed to travel in and out of their rental homes might be in October. It is being pegged that the virus is spreading faster within the two mentioned areas and if people are left to travel home, the old and the vulnerable will be hugely exposed and they will highly likely put the country at a higher risk of experiencing more deaths.
The president while having a virtual meeting with governors from the 47 counties in Kenya noted that there is need to open up the country in order to boost the economy and save jobs. But he noted that all that will depend on the level of preparedness in the counties. He had called on the counties to set up isolation units with a capacity to hold 300 beds in each county. He also told the county heads to acquire the necessary facilities and resources needed to fight the pandemic.
Another factor indicating that the order on movement might be extended for another 30 days is an advice from Education CS Dr Magoha. In his speech to the President, Magoha noted that schools might be forced to reopen in January next year due to the fact that meeting social distancing needs will be a mirage by September as earlier scheduled. He also noted that the trend shows that the country is slowly entering the peak phase and therefore it would be dangerous to open up the country and in schools in particular.
All the above is however based on various reports and advice to the president, they may be a thought worth observing but do not hold what is in the speech that President Uhuru Kenyatta will deliver in a week.
Today, another 259 cases of coronavirus have been reported bringing the total past the 6,000 mark.