Total lockdown only option to fight coronavirus in Kenya – says Peter Kenneth

Total lockdown only option to fight coronavirus in Kenya - says Peter Kenneth
Former Gatanga Member of Parliament Peter Kenneth in a press address on March 23, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

Former Gatanga Member of Parliament Peter Kenneth wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to send the country on a total lockdown of between two to four weeks, to prevent the cases of COVID-19 from escalating further.

Kenneth says the only way Kenya can effectively combat the coronavirus is by the government declaring a mandatory stay-at-home order.

“I want to appeal and persuade the government that we need a total lockdown for a period of two to four weeks. From what I have read and seen, you can only address this disease by total suppression. If we do not suppress it by confining each person to their household we will not be able to fight this virus,” said Kenneth in a press briefing on Monday when the COVID-19 cases in Kenya stood at 16 before jumping to 25 on Tuesday.

“…any other language will not be able to assist our country. It is so important that the safety of our population takes priority at this moment in time and the only way we can guarantee this is by a lockdown for an initial two weeks to four weeks.”

The former lawmaker acknowledged and commended the various safety protocols announced by the government to restrain the spread of the highly contagious virus, but observed that there is an outright defiance of the directives by some Kenyans, hence, a need for a lockdown.

“The Health CS and members of government have done well but we have seen the protocols they established have not been followed and this calls for an immediate lockdown… Like the deputy governor’s case in Kilifi, members of clergy behaving in a very irresponsible manner; encouraging lack of social distancing refusing to take self quarantine and today if you go to the streets you can see the protocols are not being followed,” said Kenneth.

“This is the biggest danger to our population in two to three weeks when the incubation of this virus begins to blow up. I hate to imagine what would happen to our country with a full blown up situation.”

Peter Kenneth, however, says should the government declare a lockdown on the country it should put in place contingency measures to ensure the most vulnerable individuals are fed during the lockdown period.

“I want to appeal to the president and government to come up with emergency measures to ensure that if we have a lockdown, the vulnerable; casual workers who live hand to mouth, are fed in the period of the two weeks I’m calling for a lockdown,” he said.

On Monday, Government spokesperson Col. Cyrus Oguna indicated that the government could consider announcing a lockdown but adding that “it is something that is always on the table but we don’t want to get there.”

“A lockdown is something that is always on the table but we don’t want to get there and we will not get there if our people are able to obey the advisory and measures that have put in place by the government,” said Oguna on Citizen TV’s Monday Report show.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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