Kenya Extends Curfew as Delta-Driven Virus Surge Fills Hospitals

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Kenya is keeping its night curfew in force and has suspended public gatherings and intergovernmental physical meetings as the coronavirus delta variant flames a surge in cases.

Restrictions of movement from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. will remain in place countrywide, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said on Friday. Places of worship should operate at one third of their capacity and practice social distancing, Kagwe said. He urged eateries and restaurants to adhere to the Health Ministry guidelines to mitigate the spread.

Several nations across the world and in Africa are battling a surge in Covid-19 cases, increasingly driven by the more contagious variant that was first detected in India. The positivity rate in Kenya hit this month’s high of 18% on Wednesday, partly due to gatherings, including political rallies that have been happening more frequently ahead of next year’s electoral season.

“We are asking those in politics, those practicing political meetings, to be part of the solution instead of creating epicenters of spreading of the disease,” Kagwe said. Hospital beds are currently almost unavailable in the capital, Nairobi, he said.

The government plans to boost the supply of oxygen by helping set up plants of the life-saving gas in at least half of the nation’s 47 counties by the end of August, Kagwe said.

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