Members of the public found outside during curfew hours will now be placed under mandatory quarantine as the government gets tougher in the fight against Covid-19.
While addressing the press on Sunday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said curfew breakers will now be assumed to have contacted suspected coronavirus cases.
“Going forward, fellow Kenyans, all those who break the curfew rules will be assumed to have been in contact with suspected cases and hence will be quarantined for a period of 14 days,” she said.
“We have activated the Nyumba Kumi initiative and, further to this, we shall now utilize technology in tracking and surveillance of any members of the public who are congregating post curfew hours.”
At the same time, the CAS noted that: “We’re witnessing another unbecoming phenomenon where people are assuming that using a face mask alone can beat this virus,” added the CAS.
“We’ve seen cases where people are walking around not observing social distancing and feeling that the face mask is enough. Fellow Kenyans, the face mask only confers about 50% protection, so we still require you to observe the interventions we’ve put in place.”
Dr. Mwangangi also stated that only the Ministry of Interior is authorised to grant people access to and out of restricted zones.
“We have also noted that people are producing all manner of letters of authority to be able to move in and out of restricted areas. It is important for people to note that nobody has the authority to clear anybody to move out of these areas other than the Ministry of Interior.”
The CAS also observed that there are malicious traders recycling used face masks and selling them back to members of the public.
She said the Health Ministry will issue guidelines on proper disposal of face masks and urged Kenyans to undertake due diligence before buying them.
“We have received disturbing news that some unscrupulous persons are recycling face masks after collecting them from bins and selling them to unsuspecting Kenyans. In particular, we’ve noticed the recycling of surgical masks and we’ve seen different pictures on social media, and we therefore say that this is criminal,” she said.
“We’re calling on the National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and other relevant government agencies to come and take action on those who are recycling masks and selling them to unsuspecting Kenyans.”
During the Sunday briefing on COVID-19, Dr. Mwangangi announced eight new cases bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 270.
Two more patients have succumbed to COVID-19 bringing the number of deaths to 14.