Cases in Kenya, the richest country in East Africa, fell from last month’s peak, but it is still among the top five countries in Africa to report new infections and deaths
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday lifted the COVID-19 lockdown he imposed last month, allowing bars and restaurants, church services and schools to reopen as the infection rate declined.
Travel restrictions in the capital Nairobi and four surrounding counties would be lifted, schools will be allowed to reopen according to a Ministry of Education schedule. Religious services will resume with some restrictions. Political gatherings would still be banned, he said in a speech.
An evening curfew that currently begins at 8 p.m. will be revised at 10 p.m. The changes will be in effect from midnight Saturday, Kenyatta said.
Under the now relaxed restrictions, Nairobi and surrounding counties have been treated as one area, with residents barred from traveling to other areas.
Kenya Airways announced later on Saturday that it would resume domestic flights between Nairobi and two cities, Kisumu and Mombasa, on Sunday.
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Cases in Kenya, the richest country in East Africa, fell from last month’s peak, but it is still among the top five countries in Africa to report new infections and deaths, according to a Reuters tracker.
Kenya has reported 497 new infections and 17 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health released on Friday. Overall, the country has recorded nearly 159,000 cases and around 2,700 deaths.
Overall, Africa has not suffered as much from the pandemic as other parts of the world, but the African Union’s disease control agency on Thursday warned governments and citizens of the continent to do not let down their guards. He called the raging pandemic state in India a wake-up call for Africa.