President Uhuru Kenyatta has of late been under a lot of pressure from the World Health Organization (WHO) to relax a number of Covid-19 restrictions in Kenya.
The head of state has been adamant to lower some restrictions even though a number of indicators point to the fact that there is a very sharp decline of Covid-19 infection cases in Kenya.
WHO recommends that the restrictions can be eased once there is a decline in infection rates, or if the percentage of infection in a country is below 5%.
Kenya’s positivity rate has remained below five percent since September 30th, and dropped from 14.5 percent on August 15 to 2.3 percent yesterday as the government steps up testing and vaccination.
This has prompted health experts and even politicians to urge the president to relax some of the draconian rules that have since seen the economy dwindle.
The UN body’s suggestion is that the governments can also relax containment measures if cases of hospitalization in the ICU and the rates of deaths decline in a period of three weeks.
“Factors that are hindering economic growth like the nationwide curfew should be lifted. We have continued to witness a fall in infection rates in the last couple of weeks,” said Githinji Gitahi, the chief executive of Amref Health Africa.
Mr. Githinji added that Kenya has been able to contain the disease, and so the focus should be on the vaccination.
“When lifting the Covid-19 social restriction measures, WHO recommends that positivity rate must fall below five percent consistently for about two weeks. Of course, there are other measures that need to be taken into account before a decision is made,” said Kenya’s Director-General for Health Patrick Amoth.
It is expected that the president could use his today’s Mashujaa Day celebration speech to call off night curfew and other restrictions that now look redundant – since the infection rate is way much below the minimum rate set by the WHO.