Justus Wanzala, Nairobi
The government of Kenya has reintroduced COVID-19 measures that had been partially relaxed over a month ago following a spike in numbers of new infections.
In a speech delivered at the State House in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended all public rallies for the next 60 days while also increasing the nationwide nighttime curfew duration that has been running from 11.00 pm to 4.00 am to between 9.00 pm and 4.00 am in the morning till January next year.
The measures have been taken at a time when Kenyans appeared to be relaxing adherence to the protocols introduced by the ministry of health to curb the spread of COVID.
He said Kenyan leaders and officials are also to blame for lowering their guard and failing to lead by example. “We have failed because even the way we have been carrying ourselves as if there is no disease. Meeting without masks and bringing people together without social distancing,” said President Kenyatta.
Additionally, the president announced that bars and restaurants will close business at 9.00 pm and that services in public offices will not be offered to people who fail to wear masks in order to promote the wearing of masks to reduce COVID 19 infections. He urged the private sector to enforce the same rule.
The president asked cabinet secretaries to scale down person-to-person engagements.
The measures taken by President Kenyatta are however a relief to many Kenyans who had feared that will announce a lockdown especially in major towns where infections rates have grown exponentially in the last one month.
The measures come at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases have reached 58,587 people with 1,051 fatalities and 38,381 recoveries.