President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, April 1 hinted he will deliver his next national COVID-19 status address 30 days after his previous March 26 address.
Speaking at State House-Nairobi, the President said his scheduled address might come earlier if the five locked counties manage to significantly reduce the COVID-19 infection rate to below 5 per cent.
In his last address, the Head of State said the locking of five counties — Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos — was indefinite, meaning Kenyans remained in the dark about when the President’s next update would be given.
“It is our hope that within the 30-day period or sooner, we shall be able to bring that [COVID-19 infections] curve down — to below 5 per cent, and, thereafter, allow for normalcy to resume,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State said he was aware that the strict measures he introduced last week negatively affected some sectors of the Kenyan economy.
“We have a problem in the hospitality sector; we’ll probably have a problem in the entertainment sector, and we’ll see how we’ll support some of these sectors,” he said.
On why he did not reintroduce COVID-19 tax relief measures, the President said: “This is not a national lockdown; we cannot introduce different tax measures for specific counties, and other measures for the other counties.”
The Head of State, however, encouraged governors of the zoned counties to introduce tax relief measures that would cushion small-scale retailers against hardship wrought by the pandemic.
President Kenyatta also warned politicians, who plan to flout the anti-gathering rules, that they won’t be spared in the crackdown on violators of COVID-19 regulations.
“I will ensure that action is taken against these people,” he emphasised.
By Brian Okoth for K24 Online