Kenya Extends Night Curfew by 60 Days as Virus Cases Surge

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Kenya extended a night curfew by 60 days and banned political rallies for a month after the Covid-19 positivity rate surged to 13% in March from 2% in January, President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

The East African nation’s economy suffered a 560 billion-shilling ($5.11 billion) hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Kenyatta said Friday while announcing the additional measures to curb a third wave of infections. Gross domestic product expanded by an estimated 0.6% in 2020, instead of an initial projection of 6.2%, after the government introduced a lockdown in major cities, he said.

“Projections indicate that, in spite of the Covid plunge, our economy is likely to bounce back and grow 7% in 2021,” Kenyatta said. “If we had not made the bold decisions of 2020, as is projected, our economy would in 2021 contract by 15%.”

Kenya plans to spend 34 billion shillings on Covid-19 vaccines over three years, according to National Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani. Some 20 billion shillings is already secured, while the government is in talks with the World Bank for 5 billion shillings and is exploring ways to raise the remaining 9 billion shillings, he said.

By Thursday Kenya had 111,185 Covid-19 cases and 1,899 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.

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