Kenya: Masks Now Mandatory in Public Places, Kenya Declares

(file photo).

Nairobi — You will be violating the Ministry of Health's regulations on coronavirus if you are found in public places without a mask, the government declared Saturday as positive cases in the country rose to 126.

This include markets and supermarkets and other public places with high populations.

"This is a new requirement that must be complied. People must wear masks in public places," said Mutahi Kagwe, at a regular media briefing Saturday.

On Friday, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said garment companies had material enough to produce six million face masks locally to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

And when he addressed a news conference on Saturday, Kagwe said a factory in Kitui was producing up to 25,000 masks daily.

The government has Kenyans to strictly observe social distancing which has been proved to one of the most efficient ways of preventing infection risks.

"It is a personal responsibility to ensure the disease does not spread. We cannot police distancing. It is very difficult," Kagwe said, "You can only take responsibility for yourself. Please, don't wait until you turn positive and then you start blaming the government."

The disease has claimed more than 59,000 lives across the world and infected more than a million others. Italy and Spain are the worst hit.

The government has now invited the youth through their respective groups, to join in the war against coronavirus.

"The youth are a very important component of the society, that is why we want them to work with authorities in their respective regions to help in the fight against coronavirus," he said, "the youth have worked very well through groups and that is what we want them to do in this fight."

He cited the various welfare groups and SACCOs in the matatu, boda bodas, tuk tuks among other ventures as an example that can be replicated in the war against COVID-19.

"If they bring that synergy in this war we will definitely succeed," he said when releasing new data for the virus infection in the country, "we want to see the youth organising themselves on the ground and ensuring they are enforcing social distancing and other measures put in place."

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