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Covid-19: Atheists call for lockdown, says curfew not enough

By Japheth Ogila | March 29th 2020 at 11:22:28 GMT +0300

Atheists in Kenya have asked the government to institute a national lockdown to mitigate the spread of coronavirus arguing that dusk to dawn curfew is not enough.

In a statement sent to newsrooms on Sunday, Atheists in Kenya Society claim that the government’s 7 pm to 5 am curfew is a knee-jerk reaction that will not yield any results in reducing further infections.

“We are asking the Government to lift the night curfew and instead implement a lockdown that we believe will be more effective in curbing the spread of coronavirus,” read the statement

Led by outspoken chairman Harrisson Mumia (pictured), the group argues that the 10-hour curfew may still lead to new infections.

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The group said those who move around during the day risk contracting the disease and infecting their close family members at night when indoors.

 “Despite the night curfew, we know that if there are people who are infected and are indoors during the night curfew, they could still infect the rest of the household anyway,” they said.

“This is especially so for asymptomatic transmission, which is very common in COVID-19. And in Kenya, even though the numbers of infections are relatively low, it is risky to imagine that these are likely to be only a handful of people.”

While acknowledging the efforts by the Ministry of Health to test the virus, the group said there could be many positive cases yet to be documented hence the need for a complete lockdown.

“We contend that we have many more Kenyans who could be infected whose data has not been captured by the Ministry of Health. Such undocumented cases are still contagious and according to experts, they are the source of most of the virus’s spread,” they stated.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 25, 2020, declared a national curfew within Kenyan territory from 7 pm to 5 am to control the movement of people and subsequently the spread of the virus.

The President only exempted movements for essential services believed to be necessary for the fight against the virus.

Essential services are medical professionals and health workers, National Security Administration and Coordination officers, Public Health and Sanitation officers from the counties, licensed pharmacies and drug stores, Kenya Power, food dealers wholesalers, and transporters, licensed supermarkets, mini-supermarkets and hypermarkets, licensed retailers and distributors of petroleum products, licensed telecommunication operators and service providers, licensed banks, financial institutions, and payment services, licensed security firms and fire brigade.

Kenya’s cases rose yesterday to 38 after 7 more patients tested positive for the coronavirus.






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