Coronavirus: Bars, restaurants comply, matatus drag their feet
Majority of bars and restaurants in Nairobi have moved to comply with the government directive on social distancing even as matatus defied the order.
The order was issued by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
His appeal to the matatu industry to be considerate during this tough times occasioned by the epidemic and not increase their fares, seems to have fallen in deaf ears as majority of those who rely on public transport in the city were again to dig deeper into their pockets.
By Wednesday, most matatus in Nairobi had implemented the directive to carry fewer passengers to achieve social-distancing.
A spot check by Nairobi News in different establishment confirmed that indeed bars remained unopened on the night of March 23 and 24 and restaurants were only serving clients take away orders as they had no customers sitting in and enjoying their orders.
Matatus were still charging passengers double despite the warning by the CS.
“We have noticed that the majority of our people have continued to ignore our measures, continuing as if it is business as usual. We must treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves. In the coming week, you will observe enforcement measures that the government will be taking,” he warned.
His appeal came after Kenyans using public service vehicles on Monday were forced to dig deeper into their pockets, as matatus hiked fares after they were forced by the state to implement social distancing by carrying fewer passengers.
On Sunday, the Health CS said all clubs should be shut and also stressed that the National Police Service would ensure compliance.
He added that every sector should expect a financial hit and none should take advantage.
On Friday, the Health CS directed that 25-seater PSVs should carry 15 passengers only while 14-seaters should carry just eight passengers until the current Covid-19 situation improves.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed that the government will take the “severest action” against any individual who breaches the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health with regard to the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic and endangers other Kenyans.
The president said the government will institute a raft of measures to support businesses during this time that the economy is hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, the government instituted tougher measures to curb the spread of the virus.
The government further unveiled countrywide restrictions following eight new confirmed cases, saying those who fail to comply will be charged in court.