State House spokesperson Nzioka Waita was on Sunday, July 12, was interviewed by Anne Kiguta on the country's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Waita discussed the phased re-opening announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, stating that Kenyans seemed to be taking a measured approach to returning to public establishments.
He went on to reveal that models the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on Coronavirus was relying on, indicated that infections in the country would peak between the months of August and September.
"Working with what the NERC chaired by former Senator Mutahi Kagwe has, what the experts in that infrastructure have indicated, is that we expect to peak anywhere between August and September.President Uhuru Kenyatta pictured during the virtual meeting with the special coronavirus emergency taskforce on April 1, 2020.PSCU
"And really, we've seen so many iterations to previously held beliefs around this virus that continue to be shuttered week on week.
"There's always some new information cropping up, is the strain in Kenya different from the strain in the UK for example and does it manifest itself with a different level of ferocity?" he explained.
Waita noted that government's decisions were informed by expert advice from scientists and medics in the country,
Observing the effects of the pandemic on the economy, Waita stated that it was the President's main priority to ensure the economy roars back to life.
He noted that various measures being implemented, from tax cuts to setting guidelines for re-opening of various industries, were meant to spur growth.
"There are certain sectors where we've managed to partially keep them going, such as in the hospitality sector. We took a decision to keep the take-away businesses going, small restaurants that were able to abide by their protocols.
"Quite a number of businesses established shifted bases. The manufacturing sector has been chugging along, big challenges around demand are what has affected them most.
"But we have managed to keep a lot of businesses particularly on the agricultural side running," he asserted while noting how the horticulture industry had bounced back after suffering from international restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
Waita further asserted that the President would not hesitate to re-instate lockdown measures if a spike was witnessed in key metrics such as the case fatality rate.
He urged all Kenyans to take individual responsibility to ensure the pandemic was contained for the focus to shift back to fully re-opening the economy.
"The message that we got from our Commander in Chief was that we should not underrate the intelligence of the Kenyan population and their willingness to cooperate.
"Kenyans have understood to a man how devastating this disease is. Across the board, the awareness of the disease is fairly high," he observed.fatal
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