Musalia Mudavadi has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the ongoing nationwide curfew imposed as a curb over the COVID-19 pandemic to help revive the ailing economy.
Citing the declining COVID-19 positivity rate, the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader said it is time for the government to set aside the 10pm to 4am nationwide curfew to protect the livelihoods of Kenyans.
“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.”
The night curfew directive, which was imposed last year, was reviewed on October 5 and will run until the end of this month.
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Earlier in the month, Amref Health Global CEO, Dr Githinji Gitahi, had also urged the government to lift the curfew and shift it to on-as-needed basis across Africa.
Dr Githinji, who is also a member of the taskforce on Africa’s COVID-19 response said that in a surge, mass contact and curfew should morph into a tactical, localized time-bound tool.
According to him, governments need now ensure there is adequate oxygen, health workers, and funding, large-scale timely vaccination, and rigorous epidemiological data to determine whether short-term curfews are required as circuit breakers.
“Across Africa, curfews helped save lives and protect health systems from the pandemic because while virus behavior is same night and day, human behavior is not!”
People have lost jobs as a result of the curfew, according to Dr Githinji, and the Kenyan economy must be safeguarded, especially considering the pandemic’s impact.
According to the doctor, African countries must move quickly into the recovery phase, which will focus on large-scale vaccination and the building of resilient health systems.