The government has extended the dawn to dusk curfew by a further 30 days.

Speaking while making the announcement, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe explained that the move will go a long way in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“The containment measures including the curfew hours of 10 pm to 4 am will remain there and this is for two reasons… number one is that we are still as far as the positivity rate is concerned we are still above the WHO recommended figures in terms of two weeks’ period when you have got less than 5 percent of positivity rate at a high testing level,” Kagwe said.

He also announced that the Ministry of Health will use the said period to vaccinate more people.

“We hope to vaccinate more people during the period that we have announced. As we head for the Christmas holidays we need to ensure that as many people in this country have been vaccinated as possible,” he added.

Kagwe has also maintained a blanket ban on all physical gatherings and meetings including political rallies and campaign meetings for the said period. This, even as the ban continued to be defied by the political class.

Amref Health Africa Global Chief Executive Dr. Githinji Gitahi had previously advised the government to lift the curfew via a discussion on his social media accounts.

Dr. Githinji, who is also a member of the Commission Taskforce on Africa’s COVID-19 Response, argues that the curfew initially helped save lives at the beginning of the pandemic. He however adds that the government should now embrace a tactical, localized time-bound tool.

“Governments now need to move to the Recovery Phase focusing on Large Scale #COVID19 vaccination and building resilient health systems urgently. Curfew should now move from a long-term strategy to a short term tactical localized time-bound tool during a surge of infections,” read one of his posts on social media.

He also noted that continuous observance of individual public health measures like mask-wearing in public, hand hygiene, and avoiding unnecessary physical interactions will still be important moving forward.