Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has attributed ill-discipline by citizens to the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country.

In the three weeks since Kenyatta announced a phased re-opening of the country’s economy, the number of positive coronavirus cases has doubled from 8 067 at the beginning of the month to over 17 600 on Monday.

So far, 280 people have also lost their lives.

Kenyatta warned that the country risked losing its war against the virus unless there is a change of attitude among Kenyans.

“We mourn the 280 Kenyans lost to this cruel virus as of yesterday. Unfortunately, there will be more. The only question is whether we shall emerge with a low number of deaths or shall suffer a catastrophe. We also understand that our economic health as a country is ultimately tied to keeping our infections and fatalities as low as possible.”

Ban on alcohol sales

Kenyatta announced a ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants. He also ordered for all bars to be closed as the country sought ways of stopping the surge.

“There will be no sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages in eateries and restaurants across the territory of the Republic of Kenya, effective at midnight today, for the next 30 days. The closing time for restaurants and eateries has been amended from 8pm to 7pm, starting today at midnight, for the next 30 days. Bars shall remain closed until further notice,” says Kenyatta.

Last week, domestic flights began operations and international ones are due to begin operations on Saturday.

In the video below SABC correspondent Sarah Kimani reports on the alcohol sale ban