Kenyans Risk Jail Term and Hefty Fines Over Breach Of Coronavirus Control Rules

Mutahi Kagwe

Ministry of Health informed Kenyans that these coming days will call for more commitment towards fighting against coronavirus. But as Kenyans, being the type that takes thing lightly and waits until last minute to respond to a matter that could have adverse effects on public health, the government has been forced to flex its administrative powers, to counter the situation.

As of today, there are 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kenya, with at least 363 persons suspected to be in contact with the infected ones, being traced by the government. Upon learning that the public is not adhering to so social distancing and self-quarantine, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warned that individuals who breach the tough travel, mass gathering and isolation rules aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus will be fined up to Ksh 50,000 or a jail term of up to three years or both in accordance with the public health law.

“Those in breach will be arrested and prosecuted in line with provisions of the Public Health Act. Much to our disappointment, the majority of people continue to ignore measures spelt out earlier. If we behave normally, this disease will treat us abnormally,” said CS Mutahi Kagwe while addressing the nation on Sunday.

The government also announced that starting Wednesday all fights will be cancelled except for cargo planes and those entering the country will be placed under mandatory quarantine in a government-designated facility at their own expense. So far, learning institutions have discontinued their operations institutions and public gatheringsincluding church services, weddings, funerals, harambee banned.

Businesses like bars, restaurants, supermarkets among others have been asked to minimize their operations. The public transport sector was restructure to have public service vehicles carrying 14 people restricted to eight, mini-buses with a capacity of 25 passengers to 15 and buses limited to 60 per cent of their capacity.