Kenya tells civil servants to get Covid shots -- or else
Nairobi (AFP) –
Kenyan civil servants have until late August to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or risk disciplinary action, according to a government document made public this week.
The order comes as parliament is due to consider a motion to bar unvaccinated people or those without negative Covid certificates from certain public and private spaces.
Kenya is witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases but the vaccine rollout remains slow, with less than three percent of the 47 million population having had shots.
"Some public servants have deliberately avoided getting vaccinated so that they can stay away from work under the guise of working from home," public service head Joseph Kinyua said in a memo to government ministries.
"This is against a background of access to vaccines having greatly improved."
He said there had been a low uptake of vaccines among public servants particularly in the security sector, teachers and core civil service workers -- designated as essential workers by the government.
Those who have not had a first jab by August 23 will be "treated as discipline cases and appropriate action taken against them", Kinyua said, without elaborating on what the penalties may be.
The country aims to have inoculated at least 26 million people by the end of next year.
MPs are also due to debate on Thursday a motion to deny people access to private and public spaces if they are not fully vaccinated or do not possess a negative Covid-19 certificate.
It was not immediately clear where the proposed restrictions would apply.
At the end of last month the government extended until further notice a nighttime curfew across the country and banned public gatherings, warning that hospitals were becoming overwhelmed.
In total the East African country has registered more than 213,000 coronavirus infections of which 4,211 have been fatal, and recently the daily caseload has often topped 1,000.
Weekly positivity rates have risen from averages of seven percent in early June to nearly 15 percent now.
© 2021 AFP