Kenya: Coast Starts Containment As State Issues Roadblock Order

Coast residents will not be allowed to move in and out of three counties that have now become containment zones after they were mapped as coronavirus hotspots by the government.

The three devolved units include Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi where the State has announced that inter-county movement is totally banned.

Nairobi's containment order came into force on Monday following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta as part of new stricter measures against Covid-19.

"The President directed that the movements in and out of the three counties be stopped and what that means is that those in Mombasa will remain here and the others remain in their respective counties," said Coast regional commissioner John Elungata in an interview.

ROADBLOCKS

The directive for instance means that those in Mtwapa, which is in Kilifi County, will not be allowed to move to Shanzu in Mombasa and vice versa.

To effect the order, Mr Elungata said authorities have already identified links where police roadblocks will be erected starting today (Wednesday).

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai will determine the points of placement of the roadblocks, according to guidelines of the new directive.

At the roadblocks, a multi-agency team of government officials from the county, police, Ministry of Health medical personnel and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) will be present.

In Kilifi, for instance, the roadblocks will be at Mariakani, Mavueni, Maji ya Chumvi, Mtwapa bridge and Sabaki bridge at Garsen-Malindi road.

Those in Kwale will be placed at Kombani, Samburu and Lunga Lunga which also borders Tanzania.

In Mombasa, there will be roadblocks at Makupa causeway, Nyali Bridge, Shanzu, Mtopanga along the old Mombasa-Malindi highway and Likoni channel.

The Likoni channel will only be serving residents of Likoni who want to connect to Mombasa Island.

"The Likoni channel is in Mombasa and therefore those from Kwale will not be using it for the next 21 days. No one from Kwale should think that they can drive their private cars to the channel and cross," Mr Elungata said.

EXCEPTIONS

He noted that the essential providers like cargo transporters will be allowed to move their goods.

However, they will require proper documentation to do so.

According to the guidelines sent to officials in charge of the counties, vehicles transporting goods will not be allowed to have more than four persons on board.

Also, medical personnel shall check the temperatures of occupants of the vehicles.

"The driver of the vehicle shall carry a letter issued by the owner or operator of the vehicle that shall have the following their personal details," reads part of the guidelines.

Mr Elungata, who is also the regional security committee chairman, warned that firm action will be taken against those who defy the orders.

"We do not expect to engage in running battles with the residents because the instructions are clear," he said.

He further explained that residents moving within the counties are expected to have face masks on.

"We are doing all this for our people and I am sure that they have seen the fear and terror that this virus has caused. We expected maximum cooperation."

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