Kenya Covid rules leave thousands stranded in traffic

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Cars are stuck in traffic on a motorway on October 22, 2014 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi during a typical morning commute.Image source, File photo/AFP
Image caption,
Thika road was among major highways closed on Saturday night

Thousands of motorists and passengers were stuck in traffic for hours after police blocked major roads in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, to enforce a Covid curfew to battle infections.

Videos and pictures posted on social media showed ambulances struggling to manoeuvre through the snarl-up.

Many people have criticised the authorities for imposing the measure.

Last month President Uhuru Kenyatta introduced a 20:00-04:00 curfew to deal with a third Covid-19 wave.

He also ordered the closure of bars, schools and restriction of movement in five counties including Nairobi.

"Whereas the foregoing measures will have a negative impact on the economy, these measures are temporary... the cost of not acting now will be much greater," Mr Kenyatta said.

The doctors union said at the time that there were no free intensive-care beds because of an increase in hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

Kenya has confirmed more than 151,000 cases of the virus and just over 2,400 deaths.

The UK and US have issued travel bans to the country because of Covid-19 and other security concerns.

Media caption,

Coronavirus in Kenya: What it's like learning under lockdown

Kenyans voiced their displeasure online.

Frustrated drivers hooted continuously while some passengers decided to complete their journeys by walking.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The Standard news site spoke to a couple who were taking their sick baby to hospital and had been stuck in traffic for two hours.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

It's unclear who gave the order but three hours after the gridlock began the police barricades were removed and traffic began flowing again.

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