NewsBreaking news: Uhuru extends curfew for 60 more days

Breaking news: Uhuru extends curfew for 60 more days

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President Uhuru kenyatta has extended the national curfew for a period of 60 days.

Speaking to Kenyans on Friday afternoon at statehouse the president urged politicians to stop all political gatherings for the next 30 days.

Below is the press release…
Fellow Kenyans,
1. Today we mark exactly one year since Kenya recorded its first
case of COVID-19 on 12th March, 2020. That new global threat that
was sweeping across the world had arrived at our doorstep.
2. In its wake, the coronavirus disease has left our national
consciousness wounded and scarred; every aspect of our life tested
to the limit.
3. As part of our national response; to contain the spread of this
virus, for instance, we had to partly close those business activities prone
to people crowding. To secure the future of our children, who are
Kenya’s most valuable treasure, we had to close our schools. To
preserve the lives of our loved ones, especially the elderly, we had to
isolate them as part of physical and social distancing.
4. These measures heralded a new normal. This new normal did
not expose weaknesses in our nation, but rather it has revealed the
amazing strength, civic responsibility, and resilience that is in the
heart of every Kenyan and at the heart of our nation.
5. During this long year, our economy was in distress, but it did
not cave in; our health system was overstretched, but was never
overwhelmed; and our nation wounded, but remained unbowed.
6. We lost 1,879 compatriots to this pandemic in one year.
These are not mere numbers. Each represents a life, a lighting candle.

amidst us dimmed, a dream cut short, a loved one, a parent, a sibling, a
friend, a neighbour, a colleague, a fellow Kenyan and a Child of God.
7. Similarly, the pandemic afflicted and wounded many
businesses to the point of collapse. While some are still recovering,
others remained unbowed.
8. Instead of giving in to the shock of lockdown and other COVID
Protocols, they decided to re-tool their business models and re-
engineer their approach. Today, these enterprises, especially SMEs
have sprung back with incredible innovations, capable of anticipating
and responding to market shocks.
9. The county governments have been affected as well; COVID
had threatened to overstretch and ‘wound’ our county health
infrastructure. However, the county governments stood strong and
unbowed.
10. Moreover, with the help of my Administration, they expanded
their health facilities to a level unprecedented since independence. Now
the county governments are ready to roll out our Universal Health
Coverage initiative.
Fellow Kenyans,
11. Although we were wounded, but unbowed in the last one
year, we are yet to emerge from what I referred to as the ‘Fog of War’
in my 11th COVID-19 address of August 2020.

2. In addition, I called it a ‘Fog of War’ because the COVID
enemy has remained unseen; its ‘theatres of war’ are still undefined
and its rules of engagement are erratic, miscellaneous and
unwritten. What is worse is that the enemy has developed
mutations. If we were dealing with one Variant of the virus in the
last one year, a new strain has emerged in Britain, Brazil and South
Africa. We do not know how it will spread; and the havoc it will
wreck on our population.
13. In the face of this unparalleled enemy, therefore, the approach
of both the national and county governments has been that of speedy
action. We have chosen this approach because “… an average plan
executed with speed is superior to an excellent plan executed
slowly”. Because of our speedy approach, the multi-lateral
agencies, like the World Bank, have credited our COVID containment
success to swift policy action and bold programme choices.
14. However, our approach has also been a mixed bag of
fortunes. We have paid the high cost of bold decisions and profited
from the benefits of swift actions.
15. Take the first six months of the pandemic, for instance, we
imposed curfews, declared secession of movement from certain
counties like Nairobi and Mombasa, and enforced specific lockdowns in
areas like Eastleigh in Nairobi.

The cost of this bold decision to our economy was hefty.
Nevertheless, the profit of the swift policy action is immeasurable
in terms of human lives saved.
17. The experts had warned us that if we did not take bold
decisions, we would have approximately one million infections
nationally by Christmas 2020 and 150,000 deaths. Other models
had actually predicted even worse results.
18. In this regard, between protecting the economy and losing an
average of 2,000 people daily as per these projections, we chose life
over the economy. The logic here, for the last one year, was that you
can always revive the economy, but you cannot revive a lost life. If
you take care of the people, they will take care and revive the economy.
19. The Kenyan economy was projected to grow by 6.2% in 2020,
it grew by only 0.6%; thanks to COVID-19 Pandemic.
20. This translates to a loss of approximately Ksh 560 billion of
GDP arising from the resultant economic downturn. And this is the
price we had to pay in 2020 for the bold decisions we made to contain
this economic free fall.
21. The profit we made as a nation from this swift action was the
prevention of an average of 2,000 deaths per day and one million
infections by Christmas 2020. The opportunity cost of saving
these lives was therefore the foregoing of Ksh 560 billion of GDP in
order to preserve life. Indeed, it was worth every cent.

In fact, data the world over, indicates that our 0.6% growth
rate and a loss in GDP, was an acceptable economic reality under
COVID. If our economy grew by +0.6%, the global economy grew at a
rate of -3.5%, that of the Euro Area by -7.2%, the United Kingdom
by -10% and sub- Sahara African economies grew by at a negative
rate of 2.6%. This means that economies around the world shrunk, but
Kenya’s did not despite our major sacrifices.
23. Further, projections indicate that, in spite of the COVID plunge,
our economy is likely to bounce back and grow 7% in 2021. If we had
not made the bold decisions of 2020, as is projected, our economy
would, in 2021 contract by 15%. This would be worse than the Euro
Area, -7.2%; India, -11.5%; and the United Kingdom, -10%.
Fellow Kenyans,
24. The issue before us this Friday, the 12 March 2021, is that of
‘degrees of de-escalation’.
25. How much of the country should we open up and how much
should we keep shut? More so given the new COVID strand from
Britain, Brazil and South Africa.
26. And because in the past, our policy decisions have been
guided by science, data and evidence, we will continue to be guided
by the scientific evidence. Empirical evidence over the last one year
shows us that, when we escalate measures, levels of community
infections and positivity rates go down.

When we escalated measures in July 2020, the positivity rate
fell from 13% in June to 4% in September. And when we relaxed
the measures in September 2020, the positivity rate rose to its highest
level in November 2020 at 19%.
28. If decision-making follows data, and sound policy actions speak
to science, what does this pattern tell us? In January this year, the
positivity rate was at 2%, partly because of the civic duty and
responsibility of our citizens.
29. But by March this year, it has climbed to 13% and is still
rising. What does this trend invite from a government that embraces
science and evidence?
Fellow Kenyans,
30. To secure the gains we are making in the war against the
virus, whilst also addressing the current evolution of the disease and
particularly to address measures in regard to the third wave of the
pandemic, and on the advice of the National Security Council, The
Council of Governors and in keeping with the recommendations of the
National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, I,
issue the First Coronavirus Public Order of 2021 as follows:
I. Cognizant that the propagation of the coronavirus
disease within our borders has been fuelled by
political gatherings and large social gatherings, I
direct that all forms of political gatherings be and are hereby prohibited for a period of 30 days,
effective midnight on this 12th March, 2021;
II. That the escalation or de-escalation of the
containment measure in regard to Prohibition of
Political Gatherings is dependent on whether the
national endeavour to break the chain of transmissions
will have been achieved.
III. To secure the implementation of the Order on political
gatherings, public ceremonies, I, hereby further direct
the National Government Administration Officers
(NGAO) jointly with the National Police Service and
County Governments Enforcements Officers to
strictly enforce this Public Order regardless of the
social and political status of the convenors of the
political gatherings.
IV. In regard to funerals, cremations and other interment
ceremonies, it is directed that these ceremonies shall
be conducted strictly within 72 hours of confirmation
of death;
Further it is ordered as follows:
V. That attendees for funerals and gravesides/crematoria
ceremonies, shall be limited to the immediate family of
the deceased, with the number capped at no more
than 100 persons; That attendees of celebration of Weddings and other
traditional unions and rites is hereby capped at 100
persons;
VII. There shall continue to be strict maintenance and
enforcement of public social health measures,
including regular washing of hands with soap and
water or use of sanitizers, physical/social distancing in
all public places;
VIII. THAT, in line with the guidelines issued by the Inter-
Faith Council, only a maximum of one-third of the
capacity of places of worship will be allowed at
each worship ceremony;
IX. The Ministry of Health, working closely with the
National Government Administration Officers
(NGAO), are directed to enhance and strictly enforce
border health security, with a greater emphasis on
informal entry points; as the country remains at high
risk of importation of new variants of COVID-19;
X. The Ministry of Health shall strengthen the existing
COVID-19 genomic surveillance so as to monitor
the circulating strains in the country for the purpose of
informing policy decisions and public health
interventions; All isolation facilities in the country must be
maintained at a high state of preparedness
through continuous capacity-building and provision of
adequate PPE for healthcare workers; supported by the
continuous implementation of Infection Prevention and
Control measures;
XII. The County Governments shall enhance investment
in piped and portable oxygen to isolation and
critical care treatment facilities for the management
of severe cases;
XIII. The Nationwide Curfew is hereby extended for a
further containment of 60 days. In that regard, all
bars, restaurants, and other establishments open to
the public, must, close by 9.00 p.m;
XIV. To provide business continuity during the
containment period, exemption on the application
of curfew is hereby granted to essential services
providers, factories and construction sites to operate
night shifts; To secure the implementation of the revised
Containment Measures and to ensure effective
enforcements of the same, an Inter-Governmental
Co-ordination Framework is hereby established in
each of the nation’s 47 Counties;
XVI. The Counties Inter-Governmental Committee will
be co-chaired by the respective County Governors
and County Commissioners, and feature
representatives of the County Security Teams, County
Health Chiefs and County Governments Enforcements
Units;
XVII. The Counties Inter-Governmental Committee shall be
convened at least once every week to assess the
County specific compliance levels; and
XVIII. The Cabinet Secretary for Transport jointly with the
Cabinet Secretary for Health are directed to develop
revised protocols for Public transport in consultation
with all stakeholders in the transport sector.
Fellow Kenyans,
31. I will conclude with two thoughts. One, Kenya is entering a
critical phase in the management and control of the pandemic,
with the arrival of WHO prequalified COVID-19 vaccines.
32. This vaccine has been tested and our medical experts are
persuaded that its safety profile is bankable. The vaccine roll out will be done in phases as guided by the
National Deployment Vaccination Plan (NDVP); with the first
phase targeting front line health workers, uniformed personnel,
and teachers. The second phase will target the elderly people and
those with pre-existing conditions. And, I must make it clear; the
vaccination is voluntary.
34. The second thought has to do with what explains our success
against this invisible enemy in the last one year.
35. Subconsciously, Kenyans have developed a culture of civic
duty and responsibility. The culture of ‘minding yourself’ and
‘becoming your brother’s keeper’ is getting entrenched as a norm
and practice under COVID conditions. And this culture of civic
responsibility may explain, in part, the drop of COVID positivity rate
from 19% in November 2020 to 2% in January 2021.
36. I must remind you that Government will do its part to protect
Kenyans; but the first line of defence against an invisible enemy
like COVID is the people.
37. If we exercise civic responsibility and act as our
‘brother’s keeper’, we will have won half the battle against this
pandemic.
The vaccine roll out will be done in phases as guided by the
National Deployment Vaccination Plan (NDVP); with the first
phase targeting front line health workers, uniformed personnel,
and teachers. The second phase will target the elderly people and
those with pre-existing conditions. And, I must make it clear; the
vaccination is voluntary.
34. The second thought has to do with what explains our success
against this invisible enemy in the last one year.
35. Subconsciously, Kenyans have developed a culture of civic
duty and responsibility. The culture of ‘minding yourself’ and
‘becoming your brother’s keeper’ is getting entrenched as a norm
and practice under COVID conditions. And this culture of civic
responsibility may explain, in part, the drop of COVID positivity rate
from 19% in November 2020 to 2% in January 2021.
36. I must remind you that Government will do its part to protect
Kenyans; but the first line of defence against an invisible enemy
like COVID is the people.
37. If we exercise civic responsibility and act as our
‘brother’s keeper’, we will have won half the battle against this
pandemic.
Finally,
38. I know our students who will be sitting for their national
examinations in the coming week, are busy preparing. Let me say, as a
father and as your President, I know you have arrived at the
examination desk following a road marred by challenges.
39. Sitting for your examinations after having been out of class for
over six (6) months, know that the entire country and I are rooting for
you. To our Grade 4, Class 8, and Form 4 Candidates; I convey my
best wishes to you all and I pray that your efforts will bear a bountiful
harvest.
God Bless You, God Bless Kenya.

Breaking news: Uhuru extends curfew for 60 more days

Source: KENYAGIST.COM

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