President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday March 26, 2021 announced partial lockdown and instituted new curfew measures to start from 8pm to 4.00am, the suspension of county assemblies and the closure of bars in Nairobi as the country experiences a third wave of the deadly virus.
The President said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had increased to 15,916 on 21 March, up from 4,380 in January. The positivity rate had jumped from 2.6% to 22% in the same period. The lockdown was necessary to avert a health crisis.
“This tells us that our rate of infection has gone up 10 times between January and March 2021. Indeed, it is a clear indication of a new trend, that now Kenya is squarely in the grip of a third wave of the Pandemic,” said Kenyatta, adding that the peak is likely to flatten by mid-May.
Data shared by the Ministry of Health on Friday March 26, 2021 showed that 1,463 people tested positive for COVID-19, from a sample size of 8,976 tested in the last 24 hours – 26 deaths had been reported in the last 24 hours.
A total of 1,080 patients were admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 3,825 patients are on Home Based Isolation and Care.
Some 121 patients are in intensive care units, 35 of whom are on ventilatory support and 77 on supplemental oxygen, nine patients are on observation, 81 patients are on supplementary oxygen with 68 of them in the general wards and 13 in the High Dependency. Kenya has one of the highest cumulative incidence rates among the African Union member states in the Eastern region.
Kenyatta said the spike in new cases called for urgent and drastic measures and that lockdown was crucial to avert a national health crisis. Some of the lockdown rules include:
. Suspension of gatherings at places of worship in the five counties;
. Banning of the sale of alcohol and suspending the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants;
. Meetings or events including social gatherings are limited to 15;
. Funeral, cremations and other interment ceremonies, must be conducted within 72 hours of confirmation of death; and limited to 50 mourners.
The measures put by the President According to me has done more harm than good to local 'wananchi' who run small scale businesses, since they can not sell out their products as usual, business like coffee sales which seems to be working out well during the night hours due to increased cold can't operate during this trying time.
The revised curfew hours by government is also seen to be bait trap as commuter congest in the central business districts are always seen waiting for PSVs to ferry them home minutes past the curfew hours without out any social distance, or properly wearing face masks.
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