Kenya has imposed a new lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties.
Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has jumped from 2% to 22% between January and March and Nairobi accounts for nearly 60% of the cases-
Kenyatta said that hospital admissions had increased 52% in the past two weeks and that at least seven people are dying every day from coronavirus.
What do the new measures mean?
No road, rail or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nakuru.
In person, meetings will also be banned.
As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties. Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours have also been revoked.
Alcohol sales in the areas have also been banned and restaurants can only provide takeaway services.
The president also ordered “an immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching, which includes universities”, with the exception of students currently taking exams.
Kenya reopened its schools and colleges in early January, which had been closed for ten months.
All sporting events are also suspended.
International travel is permitted but subject to a negative coronavirus test.
The new measures begin on Friday at midnight.
Coronavirus in Kenya
This week Kenya recorded between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day.
“According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March,” said Kenyatta.
The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day,” he added.
Recognising the impact these decisions will have on the economy, Kenyatta added that these “measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.”
“I am convinced that the cost of inaction would be much worse,” he said.