Milimani Law Court’s family division closed for one week over COVID-19 cases
Published on: March 11, 2021 07:00 (EAT)
The Milimani Law Court’s Family Division has been closed for one week after three staff tested positive for COVID-19. Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said one of the staff has been admitted to hospital. “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, court room and judges’ chambers. Due to this high level of movement of files and the extensive interaction of 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. The Acting CJ said the Family Division will be closed for 7 days from Wednesday to break the chain of transmission and allow staff to quarantine in line with Ministry of Health 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. She cited a statement from Health CS Mutahi Kagwe which revealed that Kenya is experiencing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The Judiciary will not be spared the effects of this contagion. Our key imperative in the circumstances is the health and safety of all our 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 the statement by the Honourable Cabinet Secretary for Health that despite the toll and weariness, we must not let our guard down,” Mwilu added. She reiterated that Kenyans must work together and renew commitment to adhere to the Covid 19 guidelines for the sake of each other, our families and loved ones. Last year, the Milimani Law Courts was temporarily closed after staffers experienced symptoms similar to those of the novel coronavirus. A statement from the then Chief Justice David Maraga said one member of staff had tested positive for COVID-19. “That member of staff had physical contact with several others before testing positive,” he said. The Chief Justice then directed that the Milimani Law Courts remain closed for 14 days with effect from July 30, 2020.