The Kenyan Ministry of Health has announced it will enforce a rule requiring people to be vaccinated against COIVD-19 in order to gain access to public services, venues and events. The ministry is continuing the mandate despite a court order that has postponed it until a hearing next month.
A new report from the Kenyan Ministry of Health shows that nearly 30% of Kenyans screened for the coronavirus tested positive.
The World Health Organization says a country must have a positivity rate below 5% to be considered safe.
The Kenyan government has announced stricter measures to curb the further spread of the virus.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the health department’s secretary Mercy Mwangangi announced that one would need to show proof of vaccination in order to enter public areas such as buses, grocery stores, restaurants and game reserves.
“These measures are here to protect you and me. At the moment, the Ministry of Health is relying on the Public Health Act to help NERC adopt these guidelines, ”Mwangangi said.
NERC is Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee.
Last week, the Kenyan Supreme Court suspended a state order that the vaccine mandate would begin December 21. A hearing on the case is scheduled for January 14th.
Martin Oloo, a Kenyan attorney and legal expert, said Wednesday that the government is opposed to the court order.
“This will be another stalemate between the government and the courts over obedience or disobedience to court orders, and this is no stranger to the Kenyan government. He has already been accused of violating court orders. There is [a] Cat and mouse hunt between the government and the courts, whether the government agrees with the courts or not [or] whether the courts agree to the government or not. We have seen courts crack down on government programs from time to time, ”Oloo said.
The state also instructs that vaccination exemptions can only be granted by approved medical providers.
Health officials had given Kenyans until December 21 to get vaccinated and obtain a COVID-19 certificate so they could enter government facilities.