KENYA: President Kenyatta Suspends Public Worship in Five Counties

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, MARCH 26, 2021 (CISA)-President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended public worship in five counties in Kenya to curb the rising number of Covid-19 infections in the country.

“All physical and in-person as well as congregational worship in all places of worship in the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru stands suspended until otherwise notified,” President Kenyatta said in his 15th Presidential address on the coronavirus pandemic delivered Friday, March 25.

The president while declaring the five counties as, “disease infected areas” declared cessation of all movement by road, rail, or air into and out of the counties.

“That in regard to the other forty-two (42) counties in/person worship and congregational worship shall continue to be conducted in keeping with the one-third rule and in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Faith Council,” he announced revising curfew hours in the affected counties from previously between 10:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m to new timings from 8:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m.

In regard to funerals, cremations and other interment ceremonies, President Kenyatta directed that these ceremonies be conducted strictly within 72 hours of confirmation of death. Attendees, officiators, and facilitators of funerals have been limited to 50 persons.

“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 shall be limited to 30 persons in total,” President Kenyatta said noting that the measures are to stop spread of the disease and further loss of lives.

While referring to statistics by health experts, President Kenyatta said that Kenya’s third wave began to gain momentum at the beginning of March and is expected to peak in the next 30 days with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases reported daily.

These new directives come days after the Inter-Faith Council on Covid-19 had revised guidelines for public worship blaming continued flouting of guidelines in funerals for the rise in infections.