Kenya has tightened Covid-19 containment measures, including a ban on public gatherings, amid a new spike of Covid-19 cases in different parts of the country, according to a top health official.
In a statement on Friday, Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary for Health, said a surging caseload in the capital Nairobi and eight other counties necessitated the ramping up of mitigation measures to avert exhaustion of public health facilities, reports Xinhua news agency.
"The number of cases in the recent days risen sharply countrywide, signaling an urgent need to review the mitigation measures put in place at the end of June 2021," Kagwe told a televised news conference in Nairobi.
He said 13 western Kenyan counties that were late May declared coronavirus hotspots have been recording a sustained decrease in the number of infections and fatalities thanks to the imposition of stringent containment measures.
Kagwe said rising infections in Nairobi and counties located in central, eastern and coastal parts of the country were linked to the Delta variant.
He said that other measures in addition to a ban on public gatherings include remote work in the public and public sectors.
Kagwe said that in-person worship will be limited to one-third of sitting capacity in a given venue while members of the public are encouraged to wear masks, maintain physical distance and observe hygiene to help tame the virus' spread.
He said night curfew hours will be observed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. countrywide until further notice as the government intensifies vaccination as part of pandemic containment measures.
Kagwe urged teachers to be vaccinated to avert disruption of the school calendar.
He urged devolved units to install oxygen plants, establish critical care infrastructure, isolation centres besides ramping up testing capacity to boost their resilience in the wake of new Covid-19 upticks.
Kenya's Covid-19 caseload currently stood at 201,954, while the death toll rose to 3,926.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 2.4 per cent of Kenyan adults are fully vaccinated.
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