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Hundreds arrested for flouting Covid-19 protocols in the weekend


Despite the threat of Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of revellers over the weekend continued streaming into bars where social distance is only a myth.

Police were forced to swing into action and as a result dozens were arrested in separate places as special security enforcement squads moved to enforce Covid-19 pandemic protocols across the country.

Hundreds of bars have had their licenses revoked after the operations that happened in Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa among other towns.

According to the police, more than 1,000 people were arrested in the operations and are scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

The affected bars and restaurants have since been notified of the closure and revocation of their licenses.

In Umoja, at least 300 revelers were arrested at Evolution bar at 11pm and booked at Buru buru police cells amid fears this would hasten the spread of the pandemic among them.

Buruburu Police boss Adamson Bungei said that the operation will be sustained, to ensure the Covid-19 rules are adhered to.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Saturday night led an operation alongside law enforcement officers and the county inspectorate with 35 people getting arrested at a popular Shisha den popularly known as the “Escape”

Some of them escaped and could be seen jumping over the balconies and into the darkness, with Joho’s team in hot pursuit.

At least 10 bars have been closed during the operation, 236 people had been arrested for breaking the curfew and 339 others had also been nabbed for not wearing face masks.

In Nakuru, police had to lobe a teargas canister into a bar in the town after the revellers started to haul objects and beers at them in efforts to deter their arrest in the wee hours on Saturday morning.

86 people were arrested and were part of more than 500 patrons who were busted at the Sebs bar in Nakuru town.

Police officers were embroiled in a four-hour standoff with the erratic patrons who stood their ground, attacking the cops with beer bottles.

Overwhelmed by the crowd, police officers lobbed teargas at them: scores seized the moment and escaped through the windows on the first floor before fleeing the scene.

A police report published the names of the 86 saying they were arrested for contravening the Covid-19 protocols.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last week ordered the operations to reinforce the rules as part of efforts by authorities to control the spread of the disease.

Respective police commanders in regions are working closely with county inspectorates in cracking down on the bars which officials say are the main source of the spread.

More than 1000 people have died out of the disease in the country since March.

Dozens others are admitted in hospitals over the disease.

The president imposed a night curfew in the country as part of efforts to contain the spread. Bars are supposed to be closed by 10pm.

He ordered all state officers to scale down operations and added state and public officers over 58 to work remotely.

There will be no services to those without masks in public places, said the president as he asked the private sector to help in driving this agenda.

Gatherings and rallies remain suspended for 60 days and only town halls will be allowed but must observe protocols to a third of the total population and must wear masks.

Night curfew was extended to January 3, 2021.

The president said the government will impose lockdowns and movement restrictions where cases are detected.

Those found contravening the guidelines risk an instant fine of Sh20,000.