Kenya extends night curfew

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Kenya extends night curfew
Nairobi:  The Kenyan government has announced the extension of the nationwide night curfew by 60 days, while maintaining a ban on political gatherings amid risks posed by new coronavirus strains.

The extension on the night curfew that commences from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and the prohibition on large gatherings are part of public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, Xinhua news agency quoted the government as saying on Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health had warned that the country might witness a fourth wave the pandemic that could be more lethal given the presence of the new variants.

Despite a drop in the positivity rate in the last two weeks, there have been surges in western counties linked to the new variants.

Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary for Health, said on Sunday that the variants were detected in 39 samples among residents who had no travel history.

He said the variants were circulating at the community level and could escalate the spread of coronavirus and culminate in the fourth wave expected in July.

The government is banking on enhanced public health measures and vaccination to suppress Covid-19, avert a public health crisis and hasten a return to normalcy, Kagwe said, adding that Kenya has ramped up the acquisition of additional vaccine doses to ensure that 60 per cent of the country’s population is vaccinated by June 2022.

Kenya on May 28 kicked off the second round of vaccination exercise targeting health care workers, teachers, security personnel and citizens aged 58 years and above.

The country on Sunday received 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from South Sudan amid intensified efforts to administer booster shots to citizens who received the first dose.

The government has maintained that individuals who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will receive the booster shot despite the supply crunch.

Kenya’s confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 170,647, with 3,157 deaths.

Total recoveries from the disease stood at 116,776.


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