President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It’s a great relief to many sectors of the economy in Kenya as the nationwide 10:00pm to 4:00am curfew which has been in place for more than a year as containment measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is finally lifted.

Speaking at Wang’uru stadium in Kirinyaga County during the 58th Mashujaa Day fete, President Uhuru Kenyatta vacated the curb just a day after hinting on the same.

The President noted that Coronavirus infection rates had fallen, with only less than 5 per cent of tests undertaken each day turning positive.

Well over a-year-and-a-half since the pandemic struck, Kenya has recorded just over 250,000 positive cases and a death toll of 5,233 cases, data from the ministry shows.

“I hereby order that the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew that has been in effect from March 27, 2020, be and is hereby vacated with immediate effect,” the President announced.

President Kenyatta has come under pressure to ease the country’s Covid-19 restrictions after a sharp decline in infections and hospital admissions reported in recent weeks.

The President also announced a review of the number of persons gathering for in-person worship upwards from one-third of the congregants to two-thirds provided they adhere to all the health protocols.

“I want to thank the people of Kenya for exercising an admirable degree of civic responsibility in this fight and truly being their brothers’ keepers,” the President said.

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However, Uhuru cautioned the country is not yet out of the woods yet and appealed to Kenyans to continue to observe the Ministry of Health containment measures.

According to the Ministry of Health data, Kenya has met a majority of indicators used to ease restrictions in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, including ICU admissions, positivity rate and deaths, an indication that has prompted public health officials, politicians and traders push the Head of States to relax the restrictions, including the night curfew, that have negatively impacted on business and economic growth.

“Factors that are hindering economic growth like the nationwide curfew should be lifted. We have continued to witness a fall in infection rates in the last couple of weeks,” said Githinji Gitahi, the chief executive of Amref Health Africa.

Further, the Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) led by their Nairobi chapter chairman, Frank Mbogo, had also called on the President to lift the dusk to dawn curfew and allow them to operate for longer hours, adding that they are now convinced that its time all Covid-19 restrictions that have been in place since March 2020, get lifted.

Their call, however, was not honored as bars and restaurants remain closed starting 7pm.

President 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.

The WHO recommends that restrictions can be eased if the positivity rate remains below five per cent for at least two weeks consecutively.

Kenya’s positivity rate has remained below five per cent since September 30 and dropped from 14.5 percent on August 15 to 2.3 percent yesterday as the government continues to up testing and vaccination.

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