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    Kenya Bans In-person Meetings, Public Gatherings As COVID Surges

    Kenya said it is extending a nighttime curfew and banning public gatherings and in-person meetings to slow the spread of the coronavirus, warning that hospitals are becoming overwhelmed.

    The East African country has in recent days witnessed a jump in cases from the Delta variant, with a positivity rate of 14 percent as of Friday compared with about seven percent last month.

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    “All public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature are suspended countrywide. In this regard, all government, including intergovernmental meetings and conferences, should henceforth be converted to either virtual or postponed in the coming 30 days,” Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said in a televised address on Friday.

    He said the positivity rate was at risk of rising further unless serious measures were taken.

    “We continue to implore all Kenyans, including those who have received their COVID-19 vaccines, not to let their guard down,” Kagwe said after a meeting of the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus.

    “We are all responsible (for) bringing the cases down,” he said.

    Religious gatherings will still be allowed, but limited to a third of the venue’s capacity.

    Kenya has been under some form of curfew since March last year when the pandemic first hit, and Kagwe said it will be extended nationwide from 10pm to 4am local time until further notice.

    In total, Kenya has recorded more than 200,000 cases and 3,910 deaths.

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