Kenya extends nationwide curfew, partial lockdown for 21 days due to covid-19

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a 21-day extension of the country’s nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew as the number of new daily COVID-19 infections hit a record rise, with 49 new cases registered.

This now brings Kenya’s COVID-19 infections to 830 and the death toll to 50.

In a briefing on Saturday, the president also extended a ban on travel into and out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area, the counties of Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa and Mandera to the 6 June, 2020, the same date the curfew is expected to end.

“The whole world is walking through the valley of the shadow of death,” President Kenyatta said as he urged Kenyans to remain vigilant against the disease.

“We have a brutal and unforgiving enemy in our midst. This enemy is trying to gain entry using every door, every window, every crack. It is asking every single Kenyan to sneak it in so it can attack all of us.”

President Kenyatta also ordered the closure of Kenya’s borders with Tanzania and Somalia in a bid to halt the import of new COVID-19 cases from the two countries. The border will only be open to cargo shipments. All drivers of the cargo vehicles will however have to undergo tests before being allowed into Kenya.

The president said his administration would not only work to protect lives from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also plan for the country’s recovery from the economic battering it takes from the crisis.

“We will emerge knowing that we have a mighty strength in our unity and our resilience as a people shall see us through this most difficult period,” President Kenyatta said.

He noted that unlike other countries that had begun easing lockdown measures, Kenya did not need to follow suit until there is a decline in COVID-19 infections.

“I am as anxious as all of you, to get back to building this country. However, we will only be able to do this the sooner we sharply suppress the growth of infections,” President Kenyatta said.

Story by Jerry Omondi