Kenya’s churches ordered again to close over Covid-19

President Uhuru Kenyatta

Originally published in Uganda Christian News

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has once again suspended gatherings at places of worship in five counties over Covid-19, a move some church leaders are opposing.

Addressing the nation Friday, Kenyatta put the nation’s capital, Nairobi, and surrounding counties under lockdown noting that the positivity rate in these areas jumped to 22 percent last week, a 20 percent increase since January.

“Seventy percent of Kenya’s reported cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru,” he said. “These counties are individually and collectively declared a disease-infected area. That there shall be a cessation of all movement by road, rail or air into and out of the disease-infected areas as one zoned area.”

President Kenyatta also tightened curfew hours, and ordered bars to close.

“If you test 100 Kenyans for COVID, 20 would be positive, this compared to January this year when only two would have been positive and this tells us that our rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and March of 2021,” he said.

Pastor Ng’ang’a, an outspoken Televangelist in the country, opposed the move by the government “to again target churches in its fight against Covid-19.”

According to the Star Newspaper, Pastor Ng’ang’a said government allowed the matatus (privately owned minibuses) to continue operating yet churches are more spacious and orderly.

He asserted that the government needs to consider that God is still the first option people should take whenever there is a pandemic.

“My message is that people should not forget God. Empty you came and empty you will go. No matter how rich you are,” he said.

In early March, Kenya received 1.1 million vaccine doses, and about 50,000 people have received the jabs, sources say.

The East African nation has recorded 125,000 coronavirus cases and 2,100 deaths. Authorities say the latest measures will remain in effect until further notice. 

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