Kenya reinstates mask mandate indoors

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By HELLEN GITHAIGA

Kenya has reinstated mandatory mask-wearing in indoor public spaces including public service vehicles and flights to tame the spread of Covid-19.

People are also required to wear masks in offices, supermarkets and places of worship, Health minister Mutahi Kagwe announced on Monday.

He said the number of infections is “worryingly high” and if the trajectory continues, the elections might be affected, without explaining how.

Read: Kenyans urged to mask up amid new Covid wave

Kenya will hold general elections on August 9.

The country has recorded a positivity rate of 12.6 percent on Monday, the highest in four months. Some 252 people tested positive from a sample of 1,993 in the last 24 hours, the Health ministry said. One patient is currently in the intensive care unit on ventilator support. Of the 75 admitted to hospitals, 11 are on supplemental oxygen. Around 3,081 patients are in home-based care.

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The Health ministry lifted the mask mandate in early March but encouraged citizens to wear them in indoor public spaces. In late April, scientists warned of a potential sixth Covid-19 wave in the country. This was amplified earlier this month when the Director of Public Health Dr Francis Kuria warned of rising infections.

Also read: Covid-19: Alarm as infections rise in East Africa

The country has so far administered 18,589,484 vaccines.

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