President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a cessation of movement into and out of five counties that have been recording the highest cases of Covid-19, now in its third wave.

President Kenya said all travel by air, sea and road into and out of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru counties will be effective from Friday midnight.

The Head of State termed the five counties Disease Infected Areas, saying the drastic measure is meant to defeat the more vicious phase of the pandemic in the country.

He has also revised the daily curfew to now start at 8pm and end at 4am in Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru, in measures meant to flatten infections.

The curfew will, however, remain 10pm-4am in the remaining 42 counties that don’t bear the burden of recording the highest Coronavirus infections in the daily cases confirmed.

The government also banned all political and other gatherings in the said counties indefinitely with key state offices also directed to limit the number of staff and visitors.

Uhuru has also banned sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants in the five affected counties until further notice.

He has also appealed to all employers, especially in the most affected counties, to allow their employees to work from home save for those providing essential services.

Hospitals have also been ordered to limit to two the number of visitors per patient, with funeral and interments directed to be conducted within 72 hours of confirmation of deaths.

International travel into and out of Nairobi will continue, with travelers expected to provide their Covid-19 negative certificates and also observe all other measures to tame the virus.

Attendance of all social gatherings have been limited to 15 persons and political gatherings banned in the five countries, as Kenya’s positivity rate surged 10 times between January and March.

Those aged above 58 are expected to be vaccinated in the first phase of the national vaccination programme.

Uhuru said the measures are temporary and necessary to avert further loss of lives, and admitted they will have adverse effects on the economy, but falling to act will be more fatal.

The President warned that the third wave of Covid-19 will peak within the next 30 days when daily infections expected to be 3,000-4,000 before flattening in mid-May.

He directed the police to effect the measures strictly without fear or favour, with the initial passes allowing some critical service providers to operate during curfew hours suspended.