NAIROBI, Kenya 23 Nov-Amnesty International criticized the government’s new directive to deny essential services to unvaccinated people from next month.
In a statement, the executive director of Amnesty International-Kenya, Irungu Houghton, called the decision of the National Emergency Response Committee in charge of the fight against the coronavirus in the country as “coercive and unconstitutional”.
“Although there are legitimate public health reasons for getting as many people as possible to get vaccinated, these reasons should not deprive a person of their right to work, essential services such as education, health. and security as well as its freedom of movement. These are all fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms, ”Houghton said.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced on Sunday that anyone not vaccinated against COVID-19 will be denied in-person government services and access to public gatherings, parks, hotels, restaurants and bars from December 21.
Services will include the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), education, immigration, hospital and prison visits, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Kenya Ports Authority, among others.
Amnesty International argues that the government’s race against time to immunize the masses to reach the target of 10 million people by December is untenable and overly ambitious.
“It is simply unrealistic for Kenya to go from 8.8% to 60% in a month. It should also be noted that the government has officially stated that it currently only has vaccines for 15% of the population and that it needs more human resources to reach all Kenyans, ”Houghton said.
Amnesty International Kenya said the mandatory measures announced by the National Emergency Response Committee would create an avalanche of fake vaccine certificates, as current vaccine supplies can only cover 15% of the population.
“This proposal risks domesticating global vaccine apartheid and creating those who have rights and those who don’t. This further risks eroding public confidence in COVID-19 vaccination efforts and encouraging an increase in fake vaccine certificates, ”Houghton said.
Kenya had administered 6.5 million vaccines by mid-November.