Kenya says no COVID lockdown even as cases surge.
Following the discovery of Omicron variant cases among two Kenyan tourists and a South African who entered the country last week, Kenya would not implement restrictions such as lockdowns.
Mutahi Kagwe, the Health Cabinet Secretary, said that Kenya has instead advocated for vaccinating its citizenry in order to limit the spread of the variation.
“We will not be announcing lockdowns or new curfews anytime soon.” “Vaccination is the only way to avert another lockdown,” he stated on Wednesday.
The news came only hours after he said that there had been no new variant cases in the nation despite growing coronavirus infections.
Kenya’s positive rate has been rising, with 799 new Covid-19 cases reported on Wednesday alone, the biggest number recorded in a single day in previous months.
According to data from the Health Ministry, the positivity rate — the percentage of tests that come back positive — has risen to 10.5 percent from 6.5 percent on Monday due to the introduction of the infectious Omicron strain.
The total number of confirmed positive cases is currently 257,614 with a total of 2,902,294 tests completed.
The Omicron strain, which experts claim has a high number of mutations, was discovered last month in South Africa.
Cases have also been recorded in Belgium, Israel, and Hong Kong, among other places.
The variety has spurred governments, including Israel and the United Arab Emirates, to implement travel restrictions on a number of southern African countries, against the World Health Organization’s advice.
On Monday, the operator of Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport in Accra issued a $3,500 punishment for any traveler who is not vaccinated against Covid-19 or tests positive for the coronavirus upon arrival.
The epidemic has had an impact on Kenya’s economy since COVID-19 limitations have cut earnings and hampered growth.
Last year, economic production fell for the first time in over three decades, owing to the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on crucial industries such as tourism.