President Kenyatta suspends foreign travel into the country

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Medics in protection gear. WTO has been criticized for having their priorities wrong during this COVID-19 pandemic./COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended all travel into the country by foreign nationals coming from countries with reported Coronavirus cases.

Only Kenyan Citizens, and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come in provided they proceed on self-quarantine or to a government designated quarantine facility.

“This will take effect within the next 48 hours to cater for any passengers who may be enroute. This directive will remain in effect for the next 30 days or as varied by the National Emergency Response Committee,” said President Kenyatta.

People who have come into the country in the last 14 days have to self-quarantine. The President said those who exhibit symptoms such as cough, or fever, should present themselves to the nearest health facility for testing.

The President has also directed that government offices, businesses and companies to allow, where possible, employees to work from home, with the exception of those working in critical or essential services.

In his address to the Nation from Harambee House in Nairobi, President Kenyatta encouraged the use of cashless money in order to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money.

“We appeal to mobile operators and banks to take into consideration the situation, and reduce the cost of transactions during this period,” said the President.

Here’s the rest of the President’s address:

In line with the directive to avoid crowded places, citizens are encouraged to:

  1. Avoid congregating including in places of worship;
  2. Minimize attendance to social gatherings including weddings and funerals, and restrict the same to immediate family members;
  3. Avoid crowded places including shopping malls and entertainment premises;
  4. Minimize congestion in public transport wherever possible;
  5. Limitation of visitors to hospitalized patients in both public and private hospitals.

Hospitals and shopping malls are encouraged to provide soap, water and hand sanitizers and ensure that all their premises are regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Globally, the impact of the virus is still unfolding. I want to assure you that My Administration is at the forefront of assessing, containing and managing this pandemic in the country.

Some of the measures may cause inconvenience, but I want to assure you they are designed to ensure that we effectively contain the spread of the virus.

I appeal to all of us to strictly observe these measures. I would also like to appeal for calm. Kenyans must avoid misinformation that causes panic and anxiety.

Let us remember that as Kenyans, we have been faced with other crisis in the past, and we have always triumphed by coming together in the spirit of national unity and cooperation.

Every single Kenyan has a responsibility in ensuring they play their part in safeguarding Kenyan lives.

This pandemic will test us, as it is testing all countries in every corner of the world, but I do not believe it will defeat us.  If we pull together, and everybody does their part, we shall overcome its worst impacts.

God bless you all, God bless Kenya

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