NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya’s president on Tuesday night commissioned five new hospitals in the capital Nairobi which will offer services on a 24-hour basis.

Speaking to journalists after opening the hospitals, Uhuru Kenyatta said the five hospitals are part of 24 that the government plans to construct to reduce the burden on state-owned Kenyatta National Hospital, Mama Lucy, Pumwani, and Mbagathi hospitals.

Kenyatta lamented how most city health facilities operate only during the day, denying residents health care at night.

“So we decided it was important that these hospitals that we are building operate on a 24-hour basis,” the Kenyan leader added.

“We also discovered that Nairobi hospitals open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m, meaning that if somebody gets sick or is in need of medical attention after 6 p.m. the only medical facility they can access is Kenyatta National Hospital.”

However, people on social media accused the president of working past curfew hours, violating the COVID-19 rules in the East African country.

Kenyatta brushed off the criticisms, saying: “We went at night because we wanted to ensure that we were observing COVID-19 protocols. As you have seen for yourselves, it would have been impossible to go and do what we did today during the day because of the number of people who would have been out there.

“It would have been very difficult for us to do the job we wanted to do and at the same time observe COVID-19 protocols that the government has put in place.”

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