Nairobi News


WHO releases new guidelines for public gatherings

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released new guidelines to govern public gatherings as countries began reopening their economies.

According to the report, WHO has recommended that public gatherings should only accept guests with proven health records and that organizers must remain alert throughout the event.


The report also dictated that the functions should be held outdoors and arrivals should be staggered while the frequency of transport should be increased.

It also advised that people with Covid-19 symptoms, contacts of Covid-19 cases during their period of quarantine, or those coming from countries/areas with community transmission of Covid-19 should not attend.

Other proposals include designating seating, adjusting the venue capacity, holding events outdoors or virtually, reminding people to observe physical distancing, cough etiquette and hand hygiene practices.

“Since mass gatherings have substantial political, cultural, social, and economic implications, authorities should assess the importance and necessity of an event and consider the option that it may take place, provided all associated public health risks are adequately addressed and mitigated,” the guidelines state.

WHO has also advised people who have pre-existing conditions and those aged above 65 years to stay away from such gatherings.


Last week, Central Organisation of Trade unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli came under fire from Kenyans for hosting nearly 60 politicians at his home in Kajiado County.

Pictures and videos of the gathering showed invited guests dancing and embracing each other at a time when restrictions on public gatherings have been enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But Atwoli later denied that those in attendance flouted Covid-19 regulations, saying that his guests including Governors, MPs, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, were tested for coronavirus before they attended the meeting.

He said that two medics were also deployed at his Kajiado home during the Friday meeting to ensure all health protocols to curb the spread of the virus were adhered to.

“I am not a stupid man to invite people without considering the safety guidelines by the Ministry of Health. People were tested before they came in,” said Atwoli.