President Uhuru Kenyatta while addressing the nation at State House, Nairobi, on Thursday, April 16, issued more directives that would enable the country to heighten its fight against Coronavirus (Covid-19) as he announced that 234 cases had been confirmed in Kenya.
Kenyatta, despite being impressed with the measures that he had earlier on given, that ensured the country reported fewer cases of Coronavirus, argued that it would take more steps to cushion Kenyans against the disease, placing his priority on the health workers, the vulnerable and the County Governments.
Kenyatta informed that the government had initiated a project to provide supplies to needy households, with Nairobi County targetted for the pilot project.Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (l) hands President Uhuru Kenyatta the Sugarcane Taskforce Report on February 24 at State House Nairobi..jpgPSCU
"We have identified needy households in Nairobi that will be the recipients of the weekly Covid-19 support stipend. Piloting started yesterday and some of the initial beneficiaries have received their package.
"Today my administration has also released Ksh 8.5 billion to the elderly and vulnerable individuals under cash transfer programs run under the Ministry of Labour for the months ahead. In addition Ksh 500 million in arrears have been released to persons with severe disabilities," Kenyatta disclosed.
The head of state also emphasised that the medics were to be protected as they were in the frontline in the fight, directing the Ministry of Health under CS Mutahi Kagwe and the Public Service to develop welfare packages for the health workers.
"Recognising the critical importance of health and the emotional needs of our medics, I am directing MoH and Public Service to develop a welfare package to cushion these frontline officers during this critical time, including Insurance cover for their health requirements, especially those dealing with this pandemic," Kenyatta announce.
The head of state also discussed how the counties would shape Kenya's fight against Coronavirus, reiterating their importance in leading the line. As at Wednesday, April 15, Coronavirus cases had been reported in 21 counties.
"The way counties prepare and respond to this pandemic is going to be critical. Therefore I am directing that County Governments receive a three months waiver from the Kenya Medical Supply Agency requirement for the purchase of masks and personal protective equipment to protect Kenyans and medics. The PEPs shall be sourced locally.
"The National Govt will also support the County Governments with an additional Ksh 5 billion that will supplement county savings. This will be devoted specifically to cushion the most vulnerable in society and our health workers," Uhuru stated while recognising the presence of Council of Governors chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega County Governor).
Another major plan the government was considering was how it would revive the economy after the Coronavirus pandemic is curbed, revealing that the government was engaging the developed nations and several stakeholders to come up with various plans, dubbed Post-Covid-19.
"We are working towards formulating Kenya's Post-Covid-19 economic recovery plan and we will be engaging all stakeholders in engineering economic policies in light of this crisis. My team is paying attention to critical national matters that are causing families anxiety, one such is the holding of exams this year. We have directed the Ministry of Education (under CS George Magoha) to work with our response committee on creating a solution that mitigates the negative impact on students due to measures set up for pandemic.
"The countries with the largest economies in the world are also in discussion with us on the issue of suspension of debts for a period in order to allow us to spend more in combating Covid and economic recovery. Our legislators should also consider proposal forwarded to them in the National Assembly," Kenyatta stated.
Video: Citizen TV
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