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New Covid measures for Nyanza, Western as positivity rate rises



Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at his office, March 2, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Ministry of Health has announced stringent measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Nyanza and the Western region.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe yesterday declared Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kericho, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay, and Migori as Covid-19 hotspot zones.

Stopping short of a total lockdown of the region, Kagwe said movement between the hotspot zone and the rest of the country, except for essential and emergency services, was ‘strongly discouraged.’

Covid 19 Time Series


Residents in the 13 counties will be required to be indoors by 7pm for a dusk to dawn curfew that will end at 4am.

Afya House also announced the suspension of sporting, recreational as well as some economic activities such as weekly non-food and livestock markets.

All public gatherings and in-person meetings including house parties and sporting activities are prohibited, as are night vigils and overnight processions prior to funerals.

Funerals attendees within the hotspot zone cannot exceed 50 people while burials have to be conducted within 72 hours upon confirmation of death.

The number of those attending weddings has been capped at 30.

“That the attendees, officiators, and facilitators of weddings, celebrations of marriage or traditional unions, ceremonies of rites of passage, and all other similar events or ceremonies is maintained at 30 persons in total until further notice,” MoH said in a notice released yesterday. 

Employers have been advised to allow employees to work from home, with the exception of those working in critical or essential services. 

Churches, mosques, temples, and shrines will also shut their doors for physical worship for a period of 30 days. Kagwe said the 13 counties made up 60 per cent of the national caseload and the positivity rate of 21 per cent against a national average of 9 per cent over the past two weeks.

Kisumu County hospitals are experiencing a surge of Covid-19 patients from the infection that is exacerbated by the rapid spread of the Delta variant which was first detected in India. Under the new measures, all hospitals within the zone are directed to limit the number of visitors for patients to one at a time.

Data from sequencing done by the Kisumu county government indicates about 80-90 per cent of Covid-19 cases in the lakeside city are infected with the Delta variant.

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