Kenya extends curfew, restricts alcohol sales amid COVID-19 spike

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Kenya has extended a nightly curfew and restricted alcohol sales in restaurants following a steep rise in coronavirus cases in the East African nation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the extension in a televised address on Monday where he said the curfew would remain in place for another 30 days. In addition to the extension, Kenyatta also announced that restaurants and eateries are no longer allowed to serve alcohol throughout the same period.

Kenya responds to surge in coronavirus cases

Kenyatta’s address came a day after health authorities in Kenya announced the largest rise in daily coronavirus cases in the country since the outbreak began. The nation logged 960 new confirmed cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 17,975 while the death toll now stands at 285.

The total number of infections in Kenya has tripled over the past month, despite efforts to contain the virus.

Kenya responded to the outbreak on March 25 by implementing a partial lockdown when the country had just 25 recorded cases. Authorities closed the border, shut schools and imposed a curfew from 9pm to 4am.

President Kenyatta eased restrictions earlier this month with the lockdown hitting the country’s poor hardest but a surge in cases has forced him to impose new restrictions. The drastic rise in cases over the past month is fuelling speculation that the country could enter a full lockdown but Kenyatta insisted such a measure was not on the table considering the country’s fragile economy.

Featured image: “Mukhisa Kituyi and Uhuru Kenyatta” flickr photo by UNCTAD https://flickr.com/photos/53390373@N06/28375103816 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.