On Monday, April 6, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a 21-day ban on movement in Nairobi and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale, and Mombasa from 19:00 (local time) on Monday due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these regions. All road, rail, and air transport in and out of the affected areas will be suspended before the Easter weekend. Food supplies and cargo will be allowed to continue operations. Authorities have warned that stricter measures may be implemented if necessary. Meanwhile, the existing nationwide curfew introduced on Friday, March 27, from 19:00 to 05:00 will remain in effect. Only medical professionals as well as critical and essential service providers are exempt from the curfew. All pubs were closed on Sunday, March 22, and citizens are being asked to stay indoors unless travel is essential.
Additionally, authorities announced a 30-day extension on an existing ban for all international flights on April 6. Only cargo flights will be allowed to operate; however, the crew must follow strict regulations. The land border between Kenya and Uganda has also been closed to all pedestrians and vehicles, except for cargo trucks. All individuals entering Kenya from a country with reported COVID-19 cases since March 1 must self-quarantine for 14 days or until they have been free of symptoms for over 14 days from their time of entry.
Separately, dozens of local vendors in Nyeri (Nyeri County) clashed with riot police on April 6 over discontent with government imposed mandatory COVID-19 business closures. The clashes reportedly took place in the town center following Nyeri county administration officials' refusal to allow the vendors to reopen.
As of April 6, Kenyan authorities have confirmed 158 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including six fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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