With Kenya recording, a steady decline in COVID-19 positive cases, President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew that was in place since March 2020 on Wednesday.
President Kenyatta said infection rates had fallen, with less than 5 per cent of tests each day.
“It is now time to shift our focus from survival to co-existing with the disease,” he told the nation during the 58th Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County.
“I hereby order that the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew that has been in effect from March 27, 2020, be and is hereby vacated with immediate effect,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday lifted the Covid-19 curfew saying the national infection rate had declined significantly over the last fortnight to below 5 percent.
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) October 20, 2021
Positivity rate at 2 per cent
According to the Ministry of Health, the country’s positivity rate stood at 2.0 per cent with a total confirmed positive cases at 252,308 and cumulative tests so far conducted are 2,654,013 since the first case was reported in 2020.
However, the country fell short of its target on the population that has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“A total of 4,674,897 vaccines have so far been administered across the country as of October 19th 2021. 3,379,842 were partially vaccinated and 1,295,055 were fully vaccinated,” the Ministry says.
The government targets to vaccinate a targeted population of 27,246,033. However, Kenyatta cautioned the country is not yet out of the woods yet.
“We must, therefore, continue to observe the containment measures as directed by the Ministry of Health, as this is the only way to sustain the gains we are making and a guarantee to the full re-opening of the economy,” he said.
Local vaccine production
The Head of State further disclosed that the government has set up a company called Kenya Biovax Ltd. to start local vaccine production by Apri.
“The Ministry of health should operationalise this company (fill-and-finish plant) to eventually manufacture vaccines in our country by Easter next year,” he said.
The Ministry of Health’s plan is to have an operational vaccine manufacturing capability by 2024 according to its National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan.
The establishment of a Fill-and Finish facility will be implemented through strategic partnerships and technological transfer.
“If there is anything, we have learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic is the essence of self-reliance,” Kenyatta said.