Kenya: Lift Curfew and Focus on Covid-19 Jab, Amref Boss Urges State

The Kenyan government should lift the ongoing nationwide curfew and shift its focus to vaccinating its population, Amref Health Africa Global CEO Githinji Gitahi has said.

But even as the Amref boss called for its lifting, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the ongoing containment measures, including the curfew, will be extended for another 30 days.

Mr Kagwe said this during the official launch of the Media Council of Kenya Covid-19 information portal.

He said that during the 30 days extension period, the government will vaccinate as many people as possible, adding that this is the only way rto ensure the economy is eventually fully opened

In a tweet thread on Sunday, Dr Githinji, a member of the Taskforce on Africa’s Covid-19 Response, said the Curfew helped save lives at the beginning of the pandemic, but now the government should shift to a tactical, localised time-bound tool.

Use on a need basis

According to Dr Githinji, curfews should be lifted across Africa and be used on a need basis.

“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 localised time-bound tool during a surge of infections.”

Public health measures

Dr Githinji further 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.

According to him, governments need to ensure there is adequate oxygen, enough health workers, funding, large-scale timely vaccination and rigorous epidemiological data to determine whether short-term curfews are required as circuit breakers.

Dr Githinji further said the curfew should be lifted because people’s jobs and the economy need to be preserved.

“Police have used curfew enforcement for brutality and extortion. Compliance has waned — tactical time-bound curfews are more likely to be enforceable. Finally, the pandemic phase demands so!” he added.


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Author : Nation

Publish date : 2021-10-05 06:11:23

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