Uhuru hints at lifting year-long curfew very soon

President Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted at the possibility of lifting the dusk to dawn nationwide curfew that was first imposed last year as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.

While addressing the public in Karatina, Nyeri County, on Monday, Mr Kenyatta appeared bowing to pressure from the crowd, who persistently asked him to lift the curb saying that it has made their daily lives hard.

“We will look at it, I’m working, and very soon, you will hear it, I do not want to speak too early but very soon.”

He, however, urged Kenyans to continue observing the protocols put by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the virus, warning that if they dropped their guard against the virus, even if the curfew was to be lifted, the Health ministry would re-impose it if infections and deaths increase.

“We know that many are suffering due to curfew hours. However, we can only hope it will end this once we are able to contain Covid-19. You need to also protect yourself from the disease, so that when we re-open there are no more deaths, and you will be free to live as you want,” he said.

Last week, Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi urged the President to lift the curfew to help revive the ailing economy.

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“I call upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the curfew that is aggravating the economic hardships faced by Kenyans under Covid-19. The prevalence rate has gone down. Kenyans should, however, continue observing Ministry of Health safety protocols,” said Mr Mudavadi.

The ANC leader further noted that the curfew is worsening the situation for Kenyans who are already grappling with economic hardships.

“The economic hardships continue to bite several sectors of our economy; the transport sector, small scale traders sector, hospitality sector and the message that is coming through is that it is time the curfew is lifted.”

On October 4, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe extended the curfew by 30 days, noting that re-opening of the country was dependent on vaccination numbers.

Mr Kenyatta first announced a nationwide overnight curfew starting Friday, March 27, between the hours of 7:00pm to 5:00am to prevent further spread of coronavirus and the measure has been in place ever since albeit with adjustments on the timing.

So far, Kenya has administered over 4.5 million vaccine doses across the country. Of these, 3,303,782 have been partially vaccinated while 1,216,971 have been fully vaccinated.

The uptake of second doses among those who received their first dose is 35.3 per cent. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated was 4.5 per cent as the government works towards vaccinating 27,246,033.

Kenya has been in the past weeks recording a drop in the COVID-19 positivity rate, with the latest being 0.9 per cent, after 33 people tested positive for the virus from a sample size of 3,530.

The country’s fatality tally now stands at 5,224 after one patient succumbed to the virus.

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