Health CS Mutahi Kagwe hints at restricting travel during Christmas

AfricaPress-Kenya: Christmas is just over a month away and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has hinted at tightening containment measures during the festivities if Covid-19 infections keep escalating.

Speaking during an interview with a local television station, Kagwe said it was down to the public to act responsibly and ensure they limit the spread of the virus.

“If today people decided that in 14 days they will bring down this disease, it will come down. But we will not shy away from making tough decisions.

“If cases are going up and we think by allowing people to travel it will cause a problem…then…we have done it before and we can do it again,” he said.

In April this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the cessation of movement in and out of a number of counties in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The order was later lifted in July but the Head of State warned that should the situation deteriorate, the country would revert to the ‘lockdown’.

On Wednesday, Kagwe said it is almost impossible to have a complete lockdown in Kenya due to the circumstances and social structures in place.

The CS stated that having containment measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 is the best way to go about it as experts monitor developments.

“We de-escalate and escalate issues depending on what we weigh. When you have community spread you look at two things; the fatality rate and bed capacity in hospitals.

“Then you ask yourself…if we cease economic activities, what will happen in two months’ time?” he posed.

Kagwe emphasized that finding the perfect balance is key but the most important measure is to observe the MoH guidelines.

He added that the positivity rate has been on the rise in recent months from around 5 per cent in September to almost 15 per cent in November but it was not necessary to shut down the entire country.

“If there are areas that do not many cases we do not have to close them. We have Covid committees in every county that tell us measures we can take,” he said.

Kagwe also called on Kenyans to have confidence in public hospitals since they are improving by the day and in some cases, patients from private hospitals have been referred to public hospitals for treatment.

“We need to grow new confidence in our public institutions and accept that if you fall sick you might have to go to a public institution…we will probably get to the point where the public hospitals will be just as good as the private hospitals if not better,” he said.

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