Kenya: Court Orders State to Present Coronavirus Control Plan

Veteran opposition politician Seif Shariff Hamad from Zanzibar and President John Magufuli greet each other with their feet amid fears of the spread of COVID-19.

High Court judge James Makau has ordered the State to table mitigation measures for protecting Kenyans in the fight against coronavirus.

He stated this on Tuesday when parties in the case touching on the outbreak of Covid-19 appeared before him.

Last week, three cases were filed seeking to stop persons coming from countries designated by the World Health Organisation as virus hotspots from entering into Kenya.

Justice Makau issued an order stopping anyone coming from such countries from entering Kenya and also ordered the State to prepare a contingency plan on prevention, surveillance and response for scrutiny.

On Tuesday, lawyer representing the State, Emmanuel Bitta, requested more time to respond to the case, but Justice Makau insisted that the government needs to present a report on the issue.

ADEQUATE TIME

"Of importance is a report on what the government has done so far on how prepared it is to mitigate this issue, what's left to be done and what they are doing about it. We need that," the judge said.

He added: "We should get a report as to the position so far, this is a serious matter and it's an issue of life and death."

The State had told the courts that the parties that sued over the matter only handed them copies of the case documents on Monday, hence did not have adequate time to prepare responses as of yesterday when the matter came up.

239 PASSENGERS

And even as the State requested the court to have the 239 passengers enjoined in the case, Justice Makau said all that was needed before any further directions could be issued is the report from the government.

Mr Bitta also asked for a minimum of three days to allow the Ministry of Health to respond appropriately.

"In the interest of justice and considering the seriousness of this matter, I grant the State three days to file their responses and a report stating steps or action taken so far as ordered by this court," the judge said.

He, therefore, merged all the cases on Corona virus and directed that the matter to be mentioned this Friday.

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