In Summary
  • 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.

The government was on Friday ordered to table mitigation measures for protecting Kenyans in the fight against coronavirus.

High Court judge James Makau issued the directive after it emerged that the State had for a second time failed to provide a detailed report on the plans made so far to safeguard Kenyans from the deadly Covid-19 virus.

“I find that since orders issued have not been complied with fully, there is no need to summon anyone to court but I will direct that a detailed plan be filed, we need a report on that matter, this is a good case for both the government and citizens,” said Justice Makau.

The judge was disappointed that the order on isolating passengers who jetted into the country in a China Southern flight last week had not been implemented by the State.

Justice Makau ordered Attorney-General Paul Kihara, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i, Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and Transport CS James Macharia to prepare and file the report by March 17 when the case will be coming up in court for a mention.

The judge pointed out that it should be appreciated that the government has taken steps to contain the virus but the right steps should be taken to ensure full compliance as requested by the petitioners in the case.

The State filed two affidavits sworn by Dr Patrick Amoth, acting Health director and Benjamin Murkomen, the Health officer at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

In the filed responses to the case, the government said it has heightened surveillance system at all points of entry, health facilities and communities countrywide.

The court heard that surveillance system has been able to pick 17 alerts which have all tested negative and that the ministry is utilising fixed and mobile temperature screening devices to determine persons suffering the illness so as to be placed for isolation.

The State indicated that screening at ports of entry is mandatory and that security officers have been deployed to manage crowds.

Mr Murkomen indicated that the disputed plane was parked on a remote parking bay and that the public health emergency response plan for the airport, which specifies protocol for handling infectious diseases, was activated.

He disclosed that the plane was isolated from the main terminals so as to allow risk level of the infectious illness and that the rapid response team had full protective gear while the crew as well as passengers had masks.

Mr Murkomen added that temperature checks were conducted on all of them thrice and that no passenger was found to have fever.