The government is considering Christmas lockdown for Kenyan counties with high COVID-19 cases, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has warned.
Speaking in Western Kenya on Monday, December 7, the senior state official said the Cabinet will make a decision on whether to impose a lockdown in regions worst hit by the pandemic to stop people from travelling and curb the spread the disease in the villages.
Wamalwa said the cessation of movement in the most affected areas would be beneficial for families as they would be safe from the highly contagious respiratory illness.
“I agree with the governors that imposing a lockdown would be beneficial for everyone. It is a good move. Relatives and families should discuss among themselves and opt to send funds to each other for celebrations through money transfer,” the CS said.
Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado, Uasin Gishu, Busia, Machakos, Kisumu and Kilifi counties lead in the number of new infections and are likely to be lock downed if the proposal is accepted.
Wamalwa’s remarks came after the Council of Governors (CoG) chaired by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to impose a lockdown as the festive season begins.
The CoG asked the head of state to limit movement of people in and out regions perceived to be COVID-19 hotspots.
The county chiefs reportedly presented the proposal when they met the president after the groundbreaking of the G47 Ugatuzi Towers and the launch of the COVID-19 County Socio-economic Reengineering and Recovery Plan in Nairobi.
“Many people are travelling to their villages. Those who are COVID-19 asymptomatic will infect more people, especially the elderly. This could wipe out families and even villages. If hospitals in towns are not well-equipped, imagine the situation in rural counties,” a source intimated to a local daily.
According to reports, however, the head of state’s decision would rely largely on the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).