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Updated on July 27, 2021 8:24 PM

Kenya Bypasses Total Lockdown in 13 Counties Amid Rise of Covid-19

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Kenya Bypasses Total Lockdown in 13 Counties Amid Rise of Covid-19

A nurse prepares a dose of Covid-19 vaccine for administration at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University and Reference Hospital in Kisumu County on March 9, 2021. PHOTO | ONDARI ONGEGA | NMG

On Thursday, the state failed to impose the full lockdown on 13 counties in western Kenya amid a spike in Covid-19 cases in the region.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said movement in and out of affected counties is only discouraged except for essential and emergency services.

The new measures went into effect at midnight and come months after the country imposed a five-week ban on entry and exit from a group of five counties, including Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru in an attempt to slow down an increase in coronavirus infections. .

The lack of travel restrictions in and out of western counties means airlines and bus operators are free to enter and exit Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kericho, Bomet, Trans Nzoia counties. , Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay and Migori.

“With the exception of essential and emergency services, movement between the hotspot area and the rest of the country is strongly discouraged,” Kagwe said in Thursday’s statement.

The rigid measures come in the wake of an increase in Covid-19 infections, as daily positivity rates (ratio of positive cases to total tests) in affected counties rose to 21 percent versus a national average. 9 percent amid a third wave of the pandemic. .

The Covid-19 “hotspot zone” saw infections across counties over the past 14 days accounting for more than 60 percent of the national case burden. Mr. Kagwe also suspended for a 30-day period all forms of physical worship in Congress (churches, mosques, temples, and shrines) in the hotspot counties and extended the curfew to start from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Curfew hours in other parts of the country are still 10 p.m. M. A 4 a. M. All employers, including the public and private sectors, government offices, businesses and businesses in the Hotspot Zone, are encouraged to allow employees to work from home, with the exception of employees who work in critical or essential services.

All funerals and burial ceremonies within the Hotspot Zone will take place within 72 hours of confirmation of death. Evening vigils and evening processions prior to funerals are prohibited within the Hotspot Zone until further notice.

“All Kenyans are reminded not to lower their guard and avoid unnecessary movements and gatherings, use physical distancing, observe proper hand hygiene, and observe proper and consistent use of masks,” he said.

Mr. Kagwe also prohibited all public gatherings and in-person gatherings of any nature within the Hotspot Zone, including house parties and sports activities.

Night vigils and evening processions before funerals are also prohibited within the Hotspot Zone until further notice.

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