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Dancing with Covid: Excited residents trash Covid-19 regulations


ODM leader Raila Odinga and KANU Party leader Gideon Moi wave at Kondele residents on their way from Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium for Madaraka day celebrations.[Mumo Munuve,Standard]

Covid-19 regulations were forgotten as Kisumu residents celebrated Madaraka Day.

Despite assurances of measures to ensure the regulations were adhered to, Tuesday's events painted a different picture.

Early morning, sitting arrangements at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium had maintained social distancing.

However, by 10am the stadium was full.

Those who attended the fete interacted freely, yet some did not even wear face masks.

Announcements by the event organisers that the sitting arrangements be maintained fell on deaf ears, as people moved seats, sealing gaps that had been left.

In the morning, Health officials from the county provided surgical masks to those who had worn-out ones or those with masks made from normal material.

They also provided handwashing points and walked around the terraces to ensure people maintained social distancing.

This was however short-lived as they were overwhelmed.

And when it was time for entertainment, people danced freely despite recent reports of the county becoming one of the new Covid-19 hot spots

At Kondele and Kisumu main bus terminus, the public turned up in numbers to cheer the dignitaries' convoys heading to the event venue.

Police had to use tear gas at Kondele to disperse a surging crowd as Deputy President William Ruto and other leaders waved from their vehicles' sunroof.

This happened despite a directive by Governor Anyang' Nyong'o that the public follows the event from their homes.

The residents, some in boda boda, overwhelmed police officers who were manning the roads, leading to traffic snarl-up between Kondele and the main bus terminus.

A similar situation was reported in Siaya where President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a road and water projects, as crowds urged the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga to address them.

Kevine Omollo and Harold Odhiambo


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