Kenya lifts nationwide curfew as COVID-19 infections steadily decline

President Kenyatta lifted the dusk-to-dawn curfew but urged everyone to still adhere to wearing facemasks.

On Wednesday, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta announced the lifting of the nationwide curfew that has been in place since March 2020 to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “I hereby order and direct the nationwide dusk-dawn curfew to be vacated with immediate effect,” said Kenyatta. The decision was announced at an event to mark Mashujaa Day, a public holiday to honour those who contributed to the country’s independence struggle. The president's move to waive the curfew comes after calls from stakeholders in Kenya's business community as well as lobbying from churches to lift restrictions and allow more congregants to gather. The president increased the number of people who can attend a religious service to two thirds of a congregation, from just a third noted previously.

Kenyatta said infection rates had fallen, with less than 5% of tests each day proving positive in the past two weeks. Adding, "It is now time to shift our focus from survival to co-existing with the disease". The East African nation, which has a population of 54 million people, has reported 252,375 cases of COVID-19 infections and 5,238 deaths since the start of the pandemic per data retrieved from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Inoculation rates however remain low, with only 4.6 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated. The country has received 7.5 million doses of vaccines so far and about 4.5 million people have had at least one dose, according to the latest government figures.