Chief Justice, David Maraga, has suspended physical court sessions at the Meru Law Courts after six judicial officials contracted COVID-19.
Maraga confirmed that several advocates and their staff members were among those who had tested positive for the virus.
Maraga said that all matters that the court would then take place virtually, in a bid to help control the spread of COVID-19. These new sessions would go on for 14 days. The suspension takes effect as from Monday (23rd November).
Meru witnesses surge in COVID cases
However, Maraga said that the Presiding Judge, Edward Muriithi, would give the go-ahead to the return of physical court cases after the complete testing of staff at the courts.
The court’s suspension came when Meru witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, with the county among hotspots of the virus in Kenya.
Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, last week noted that Meru county was quickly becoming a hot spot for COVID-19. He singled out Imenti North, where the courts are, as one of the areas seeing the largest surge. So far, authorities have confirmed 26 deaths from COVID-19 in the county. This figure could be a significant underestimation, considering testing remains limited in Kenya, moreso in rural counties.
Just last week, two Meru MPs were among the 502 COVID cases that the county has confirmed to date. Imenti North constituency has the highest number of confirmed cases. This situation has led to area MP Rahim Dawood calling for more stringent restrictions.
Coronavirus disrupts calendar
The second wave of COVID-19 in Kenya has led to the suspension and, in some instances, closure of county assemblies as MCAs and staff contract COVID-19. Several ward representatives have succumbed to the disease. The latest was London Ward MCA, Karanja Mbugua.
And the fight is getting more challenging, with doctors succumbing at a very high rate, with two more dying over this weekend.
Kenya is currently witnessing a severe surge of cases and deaths from COVID-19.