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Milimani Court’s Family Division closed after Covid-19 outbreak

The Family Division of the High Court situated at the Milimani Law Courts has been shut down temporarily after three members of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said one of those who tested positive has been admitted to the hospital for urgent medical attention.

“Due to the nature of the Division, there is a high volume of daily movement of files across the Division’s sections as well as within the building, courtroom and judges’ chambers. Due to this high level of movement of files and the extensive interaction between staff, as well as between staff and our clients and court users, we are apprehensive of the potential for significant spread of the virus,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the acting CJ, the court’s division will be closed for seven days from Wednesday to break the transmission chain and allow staff to quarantine in line with the Health Ministry Covid-19 protocols.

According to her, there are a total of 53 staff and legal researchers, ten attached students, two judicial officers and four judges in the Family Division.

“In light of these developments and upon consultation with the Presiding Judge of the Family Division and the Principal Judge of the High Court, we have arrived at the considered decision to temporarily close the Family Division of the High Court at Milimani law Courts for seven days from today.”

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday revealed that Kenya is experiencing the third wave of the pandemic.

On her part, Mwilu said the Judiciary’s key imperative in the current circumstances is the health and safety of all staff, court users and their families.

“We are all aware of the exacting toll this pandemic and the measures to curb it are having on the justice system, court users and the wider society. However, I reiterate that despite the toll and weariness, we must not let our guard down,” she said.

The acting CJ said services at the Family court will resume as soon as circumstances allow and will provide updates as and when they become available.