President Kenyatta extends nationwide curfew, ban on political rallies for 60 days
Published on: August 18, 2021 06:29 (EAT)
President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a raft of new measures aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19, among them an extension on the nationwide curfew as well as the ban on public gatherings and political rallies. President Kenyatta, in a statement to newsrooms on Wednesday, noted that recent reports have shown infections increasing across several counties due to a breach of Ministry of Health guidelines. “In particular, 18 counties have recorded a positivity rate above 20%, and over the last week, the following counties have recorded a positivity rate of above 30%: Kiambu, Nyandarua, Murang’a, Makueni, Machakos, Baringo, Meru, and Nyeri,” read the statement. “Epidemiological studies and models indicate the presence within our borders of the delta variant of COVID-19 which is more communicable and acute, and that ‘super-spreader’ events are likely to further imperil public health and exacerbate the COVID-19 situation in our country.” President Kenyatta extended the 10pm to 4am nationwide curfew for 60 days, adding that these hours also apply to previously identified COVID-19 hotspot zones of Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay, Migori, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kisii, Nyamira, Kericho, Bomet and Trans Nzoia counties. The President suspended with immediate effect all physical public gatherings including political rallies and campaign meetings for 60 days as well. “All other social gatherings, including weddings, celebrations of marriage or traditional unions, ceremonies of rites of passage, funeral/cremation ceremonies and all other similar events or ceremonies, shall strictly adhere to the 100-person attendance limit as prescribed,” he said. “In addition to the prevailing guidelines on funeral/interment ceremonies, and to further enhance compliance with the guidelines thereto, officiators and proprietors of funeral homes are to strictly adhere to the prescribed 96 hours of confirmation of death, and secure processing for burial within this period, failure to which appropriate action against management, staff, and premises shall be taken where exceptions are not justified.” President Kenyatta directed that places of worship continue to adhere to the one-third rule for in-person worship. He also stated that bars, restaurants and eateries continue operating with guidance from the Ministry of Health, or risk action against management, staff and patrons. “In enforcing these measures all security sector agencies are directed to ensure that organizers and/or individual leaders, including senior public sector officials and political leaders take personal responsibility and are held to account for any violation of the measures,” he directed.