Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced an extension of nationwide COVID-19 curfew till Jan. 3, 2021, and banned political rallies for 60 days as infections have surged over the last month.

“Today, being the 38th day since we eased our COVID measures on 27th September 2020, a lot has changed,” Kenyatta said in a statement.

“COVID positivity rate has (..) shot up from 4% in September when we re-opened, to an average of 16% in October. This is four times what the rate was in September,” he added.

Considering that Kenya is now at the beginning of a new wave of the disease, Kenyatta said that October has been recorded as the most tragic month in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“All political gatherings and rallies are suspended for a period of 60 days with immediate effect. Anyone wishing to hold such meetings should do so in town halls and must observe all COVID protocols, including limiting the attendees to one-third seating capacity of the hall,” Kenyatta noted.

The nationwide new curfew will start from Wednesday night to be enforced until Jan. 3, 2021 between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., Kenyatta announced.

So far, the Kenyan health authorities have confirmed 1,039 coronavirus-related deaths and 57,093 infections, according to data compiled by the US-based John Hopkins University.

Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December, COVID-19 has claimed over 1.21 million lives in 190 countries and regions.

Over 47.65 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries exceeding 31.72 million, according to figures compiled by the same source.

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