NAIROBI, Kenya, June 6 -COVID-19 cases rose to 2,600 in Kenya Saturday, after 126 more people tested positive on the day President Uhuru Kenyatta said it is not yet time to ease restrictions completely.
With new infections on the rise, the President extended the night curfew that has been started at 7pm to 5am, to now start at 9pm to 4am in what he said will help traders have more hours for business. The new order takes effect on Sunday and will last for 30 days.
Kenya’s fatality tally from the virus also rose to 83 after four more people succumbed.
The President urged Kenyans to exercise patience, saying the government was working on a plan that will see the economy re-opened, without exposing their lives to the pandemic.
“I have seen many memes talking about independence and Freedom Day, but we are not doing this to punish anyone. This is about life and we are doing this to protect the lives of Kenyans,” the President said.
He however, lifted the cessation of movement into and out of Eastleigh area of Nairobi, Old Town in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale from Sunday but restrictions in place for Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties remain in force for a further 30 days.
“The experts say opening the economy will be risking the lives of Kenyans and at the end of this, we will have destroyed the economy further,” he said and explained that his decisions were based on advise from scientists and public health experts.
“Let us unite and see how we can help those who have been hard hit,” he said.
The President further directed the Ministries of Health and Interior to constitute an inter-faith council, that will work out protocols on the re-opening of places of worship.
The President said the inter-faith council is expected to come up with the protocols within a week in consultations with health experts and other stakeholders.
Public gatherings banned
The president said the ban on all forms of gatherings, including but not limited to political gatherings, social gatherings, including bars will remain in force for the next 30 days.
He also urged the Ministry of Transport to engage key stakeholders and develop protocols that will guide the resumption of local air travel.
He directed the Ministries of Education and Health to hold consultations so as to have a new calendar for the education sector by mid-August, in time for the resumption of learning at the beginning of September.