Uhuru calls crisis meeting as virus cases, deaths rise

President Uhuru Kenyatta attending the 5th virtual meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African (AU) at State House, Nairobi on June 12, 2020.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has summoned an emergency meeting of top officials and governors to review the rising cases of Covid-19. 

The president has set the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit for this Friday on the back of a surge in infections and deaths.

The summit will, among other things, assess counties’ preparedness within the wider national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The session has been convened following a surge of Covid-19 infections across our nation with the disease having now manifested in 44 of our 47 counties as of July,” read a statement by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena.

Further, the summit will evaluate overall national response and capacity, review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and assess the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions that were in place.

Dena said the meeting would also consider the evolution of the disease and the medical models on how Covid-19 may propagate over the months of August and September.

In the statement, the president is quoted as calling on Kenyans to continue applying individual and collective safety measures that are the country’s best weapon against the virus.

“Kenyans should continue correctly wearing face masks while in public spaces, apply correct face and hand hygiene at all times, and co-operate with the physical and social distancing guidelines and protocols that have been put in place to safeguard our individual and collective health and safety.”

With the relaxing of Covid-19 measures, in the past few weeks, Kenya has witnessed a surge in the number of positive cases recorded. The cases are expected to rise exponentially in coming days after travel restrictions were lifted. 

These developments came on the heels of Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua raising concerns that public servants have not complied with guidelines and measures contained in four circulars issued in the past.

The circulars were issued on March 17, March 26, April 23 and April 29 to facilitate the observance of containment measures issued by the government.

“Public servants have not strictly complied with the guidelines stipulated in the circulars, thereby exposing themselves, colleagues and their families to the risk of Covid-19 infection and fatalities,” he said in the circular dated July 20.

Kinyua ordered public servants to maintain physical distancing, rearrange workplaces to not less than 1.5 metres, and minimise visitors to offices.

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