Commuters were on Tuesday stranded in various parts of Nairobi, Kenya, as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive stopping non-essential movement in and out the city, as well as three other COVID-19 affected areas in the country took effect.

Police mounted barriers to keep commuters on either side from crossing, in measures meant to avoid a total lockdown according to Kenyatta.

Kenya has confirmed 172 positive cases of the deadly viral infection.

Kenya announces new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19:

Police were at hand to ensure full compliance with Kenyatta’s directives. Police officer Catherine Ringeera says people complain that the information came at short notice.

“They’re complaining about the short notice that they were given because the information caught them on the road.”

Kenya currently tops Eastern African nations in COVID-19 cases. Movement of cargo including food supplies continues, but all private and commuter vehicles were stopped and asked to turn back.

Commuters sought ways of outwitting the police; they attempted to use motorbike taxis to cross the barriers and when that failed, they tried walking past the officers undetected. With their numbers sometimes overwhelming the police officers, they slipped past by walking through the bushes.

Ringeera says the public seems to not be taking the restrictions seriously.

“It seems members of the public are not taking these matters on a serious note because they don’t want to accept the reality. If it continues the way it is, we may end up with a complete lock-up.”

Those caught on either side of the road say circumstances have forced them to attempt the forbidden crossing, like John Musyoki who was recalled to work.

Kenyatta says the containment measures are meant to avoid a total lockdown.

In the video below, Kenya announces that its COVD-19 Patient Zero has made a full recovery.