Kenya Suspends Political Rallies After ‘Most Tragic’ Virus Month

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended political rallies as part of measures to curb the coronavirus, after a surge in cases followed easing of restrictions in September.

The decision to suspend big political gatherings for 60 days comes as leaders jostle to mobilize supporters for a potential referendum next year, in which Kenya’s government could be restructured.

The East African nation has 58,587 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,051 deaths as of Wednesday, according to the Health Ministry. Of these, about 15,000 new infections and 300 deaths were recorded in the past month alone.

Kenya Suspends Political Rallies After ‘Most Tragic’ Virus Month

“October has been recorded as the most tragic month in our fight against Covid,” Kenyatta said Wednesday in a televised address. “Now we are staring at a new wave of this pandemic.”

Kenya’s health managers have blamed the surge partly on politicians continuing to address crowded rallies without adhering to measure such as wearing of masks and social distancing.

Kenyatta also extended a nationwide curfew by an hour, to be observed from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., while bars and restaurants are required to close by 9:00 p.m. The restrictions will be in place until Jan. 3.

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