Kenya extends night curfew to March to curb COVID-19 spread

KENYA is extending its nightly curfew to March 12 as part of measures aimed at taming the spread of COVID-19, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office has announced.

In early November, Kenyatta extended the nightly curfew that was in place, and it had been due to expire on Sunday. It runs between 10 p.m and 4 a.m.

A ban on political and roadside gatherings that could turn into super spreader events was also extended for another 60 days, as was a prohibition on overnight events and vigils, Kenyatta’s office said in a statement.

When the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Kenya in March 2020, the government closed schools, imposed a curfew, banned public gatherings and at one point restricted movement in and out of the most-affected regions.

Some of the measures were eventually relaxed, and schools are expected to reopen on Monday. However, extracurricular school activities such as sports are banned for 90 days, as well as non-essential visits by parents and guardians, the president’s office said.

Like other countries around the world, Kenya’s tourism, education and other key sectors have been pummelled by the pandemic. Its second-quarter economic output declined for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2008.

Kenya has recorded a total of 96,802 cases and 1,685 deaths, Ministry of Health data showed on Sunday.

Thomson Reuters Foundation