What you need to know:
- 1,160 people were found not wearing masks between Friday and Saturday night.
- The crackdown was announced by Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai on Thursday.
- In Nairobi County alone, 373 people were arrested for general contravention, 149 for not wearing face masks while 33 bars were closed on Friday night.
More than 2,400 suspects were arrested over the weekend for flouting various Covid-19 regulations, including breach of the 10pm-4am curfew order.
Official statistics yesterday indicated that 1,325 suspects were found to be in general contravention of the guidelines, while 1,160 were found not wearing masks between Friday and Saturday night.
The crackdown was announced by Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai on Thursday. The suspects were freed on cash bail and are expected to appear in various courts today. Additionally, 130 bars have been closed countrywide after they were found operating past 9pm, while more than 103 public service vehicles were detained at various police stations.
In Nairobi County alone, 373 people were arrested for general contravention, 149 for not wearing face masks while 33 bars were closed on Friday night. The number increased on Saturday night, with195 people getting arrested, 21 bars closed and 10 public service vehicles detained across the county.
This came as Nairobi residents continued to party and disregard government’s call to curb the spread of the pandemic that continues to claim dozens of lives every day.
In Mombasa County, Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata said at least 10 bars have been closed and 300 people arrested since Friday for contravening curfew orders.
Another 339 people were arrested for failing to wear masks, while 39 public service vehicles were detained.
“We urge that people in the coastal region respect and obey Covid-19 protocols. The operation against those flouting the rules will continue until the curve flattens once again. It’s for their good that the operation is ongoing,” Mr Elungata said.
In Nakuru town, more than 300 people were arrested for flouting the rules, according to Nakuru Town East Sub-county police commander Elena Kabukuru.
Some revellers were caught partying past curfew hours at a popular club, whose licence was confiscated.
In Kisumu County, 256 people were arrested over the weekend. County police boss Ranson LLolmodoni cautioned residents against flouting the Covid-19 regulations.
“Anybody found operating a bar beyond 9pm will have their licences withdrawn,” Mr LLolmodooni said.
In Siaya County, 142 people were arrested in a crackdown targeting bars, markets and other public spaces.
Arrested 100 people
In Kakamega town, Central Police Commander David Kabena said police and county enforcement officials arrested 100 people.
“Those arrested are subjected to Community Service Order before they are released. The level of compliance is still very low but were doing everything to ensure people follow the regulations," said Mr Kabena.
In Central Kenya, at least 190 people were arrested in Nyeri and Meru counties, with security agencies saying the crackdown is yet to take off properly due to inadequate cells.
Meru County Police Commander John Mwinzi admitted that despite the arrest of 100 in the county, there is still a high number of people flouting the rules.
Mr Mwinzi said many bars in the region are operating way after 9pm, noting that security stakeholders will meet today to plan how to effectively deal with the offenders.
“Many people are still not wearing masks. We will start a concerted operation on Monday,” said Mr Mwinzi over the phone.
In Nyeri County, 60 people who were arrested in Karatina town on Saturday will be arraigned in court today for failing to wear masks. Thirty others who were arrested in Kieni West will also appear in court.
In Isiolo, County Commissioner Herman Shambi said 30 people were arrested for failing to wear masks and keep social distance.
Mr Shambi, who chairs the Isiolo Covid-19 response team, said to prevent crowding in police cells, those arrested were being released on police bail and required to appear in court the following day.
“We might be forced to withdraw licences for businesses that are not complying with the guidelines,” said Mr Shambi while warning bar operators against operating past curfew hours.
The crackdown continues this week, with calls by IG Mutyambai to all Kenyans to wear masks, keep social distance while in public places and avoid unnecessary travels. He further directed all officers in the National Police Service to enforce the Covid-19 regulations.
By Mary Wambui, Eric Matara, Stephen Munyiri, Waweru Wairimu, Nicholas Komu, Charles Wanyoro, Wachira Mwangi, Benson Amadala, Elizabeth Ojina and Dickens Wasonga, Benson Ayienda, Geoffrey Ondieki and John Njoroge