Kenyan authorities on Wednesday, November 4, extended and shortened the nationwide nightly curfew through January 3, as part of the country's efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). With immediate effect, the curfew will run between 22:00-04:00 (local time) and during curfew hours movement remains restricted.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also announced new COVID-19 containment measures. All government employees over 58 years old or with pre-existing health conditions are required to work remotely unless working in critical sectors. School classes will resume in-person learning from January 2021. Political gatherings and rallies remain suspended for 60 days; though town hall meetings may take place with one-third capacity. Restaurants, bars, and other establishments are now required to close by 21:00.
The wearing of face masks or coverings remains mandatory for all individuals in public, in private vehicles and on public transport, and a distance of 1 m (3 ft) from others must be maintained. Religious services may take place with limitations on capacities and additional hygiene measures observed; however, classes at churches and madrassas remain suspended. Businesses operating are required to provide soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitizer, at building entryways and follow social distancing regulations.
International flights to and from Kenya and domestic flights have resumed operating. Individuals do not need a COVID-19 negative test to board domestic flights within Kenya. Passengers arriving on international flights are required to provide a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test obtained no more than 96 hours prior to arriving, and may be required to quarantine for 14-days either at their home or at a state-run facility. Kenya's land borders with Uganda, Somalia, and Tanzania are open and freight services continue to operate. International maritime and sea travel remains prohibited.
As of November 4, there have been 58,587 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1051 associated fatalities in Kenya. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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