The Judiciary is scaling down its services in the five counties President Uhuru Kenyatta declared to be disease infected as the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic ravages Kenya.

Due to the fresh virus surge, Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu ordered courts, tribunals and registries in Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru to close down indefinitely.

“Like all other sectors, the Judiciary and the rest of the criminal and civil justice agencies were asked to take immediate action to eliminate non-essential physical contact or situations within our areas of mandate that may lead to crowding or the propagation of the disease,” she said.

The hearing of cases pending in court in the five counties shall be strictly virtual until her offices issues a fresh directive on the same.

Mwilu said matters under a certificate of urgency in Nairobi County will proceed to be filed through the judiciary’s e-filing system.

“E-filing support shall be offered through an online platform running every weekday from 10.00am to 12.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm,” Mwilu said.

The acting CJ indicated that all criminal pleas and urgent hearings will also be virtual in the 5 disease infected counties.

“Certificates of urgency in the other zoned areas of Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Nakuru, shall be presented by way of e-filing,” she added.

She has appealed to all judiciary staff to go and get vaccinated for Covid-19 to protect themselves and help reduce the national adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Government of Kenya has prioritised the vaccination of all persons aged 58 years and above. And although vaccination is voluntary, all of us are seriously encouraged to get vaccinated at the earliest possible moment,” pleaded Mwilu.

The President on Friday announced fresh cessation of movement into and out of the five counties and also reviewed curfew hours to 8pm-4am daily in the same counties.