Kenyans were on Saturday left disappointed after President Uhuru extended the lockdown of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera as well as the nationwide curfew by 30 days.
The president, however, said that the current curfew hours which were between 7pm-5am will now be from 9pm-4am beginning tomorrow June 7.
Kenyans were looking forward to Saturday as the day the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in the country to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus would end after the President extended it for 21 days last month.
In accordance with the advice of the National Security Council, the President also extended the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa and Mandera by also another 30 days.
“Opinion is divided on how we go on, some I included wanted to open up now while others were against the mass re-opening but we accept that we are caught between two rights. Those who want us to open and those are opposed,” said President Kenyatta.
According to the Head of State, if the country relaxes the interventions by 20 percent, it would have 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths by December 2020.
“We must speak truthfully to each other, rate of infection in Kenya would have been very high had we not taken the measures we took, if we hadn’t taken the interventions that we did, more than 800,000 Kenyans would have been infected by now,” he said.
It was not a surprise as recent statements by senior government officials had tended to dampen the expectations of a majority of Kenyans, with some resigning to the possibility of the perpetuation of the status quo or a new order with just slight changes.
President Kenyatta has also been facing pressure from religious leaders to open places of worship.
Religious organisations have formally written to him asking for a review of the measures and promising to adhere to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
However, speaking at State House, Nairobi on Saturday, the Head of State announced the lifting of the cessation of movement of Kwale and Kilifi counties.
The President also lifted cessation of movement order into and out of Eastleigh and Old Town from 4am June 7, 2020.