Further tightening the health regulations to stem the rising COVID-19 Delta variant cases, Kenya on Friday extended the ongoing curfew indefinitely until further notice, banning all public gatherings countrywide just as politicians gear up to campaign for the 2022 elections.

Speaking at Harambee House in the capital Nairobi, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said the number of cases has risen sharply in the recent days, necessitating further mitigation measures.

The minister announced that the East African nation’s curfew that starts at 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. will now run indefinitely until further notice.

“We will not allow any public gatherings and in-person meetings to take place anywhere. Police will strictly enforce this order,” he added.

Kagwe also called on all public and private employers to allow their workers to work from home.

“All employers, including the public and private sector, government offices, businesses and companies be directed to allow employees to work from home, except for employees working in critical or essential services, until further notice,” he said.

Kagwe also urged people to avoid self-medication and seek medical attention from qualified healthcare workers.

Kagwe said that across the counties in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi, “If you get sick today, you are very unlikely to get a hospital bed. It is good to call a spade a spade. The truth of the matter is we are facing a difficult situation. Unless we stop the transmission right now, our health system is going to be overwhelmed.”

Kenya recorded 945 new cases and 16 deaths on Friday with a national positivity rate of 13%, taking the confirmed positive cases to 201,954.

As of July 29, over 1.7 million vaccine doses have been administered across Kenya.

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