The National Security Council has approved an indefinite curfew effective Friday, from 7 pm to 5 am, in drastic measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

The announcement was made by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, during a televised address to the nation, where he revealed a raft of measures meant to cushion Kenyans from the effects of the disease.

The President said during the period, only authorized people offering essential services will be exempted.

Institutions including the media and health were listed among thirteen essential service entities whose staff will be exempted.

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He also directed that “with immediate effect, the management of the Kenya Ferry Services is vested in the National Police Service, the Coast Guard, and the National Government Administration Officers.”

The President said the measures are meant to ensure the disease that has killed more than 19,000 people across the world does not wreak more havoc in the country.

He urged Kenyans to continue observing the laid out precautionary measures which include washing hands using water and soap, use of sanitizers and social distancing.

“We reiterate that the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene. We have recently experienced cases within our country where transmission was from our political and religious leaders who unfortunately did not heed the guidance by the Ministry of Health on self-quarantine and social distancing.”

“Social distancing whether we like it or not, is our new normal until such a time as we conquer this pandemic. I wish to reiterate that the only effective way to defeat the virus is through basic changes in behaviour and hygiene,” Uhuru urged.