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Economy

Corona testing fee slashed to Sh1,000 for restaurant staff

The cost of testing restaurant workers for Covid-19 has gone down by 75 percent to Sh1,000, signalling the government's plan to fully reopen the hospitality and tourism sector.
The cost of testing restaurant workers for Covid-19 has gone down by 75 percent to Sh1,000, signalling the government's plan to fully reopen the hospitality and tourism sector. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The cost of testing restaurant workers for Covid-19 has gone down by 75 percent to Sh1,000, signalling the government's plan to fully reopen the hospitality and tourism sector.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said restaurants will also not be charged for inspection and compliance permits. This now paves the way for restaurants that comply with protocols to reopen for business.

"The protocols laid out by the Ministry of Health are to be followed by every hotelier... It will take 24 hours to facilitate this compliance," said Mr Balala.

"We are taking these approaches as we look forward to reopening the accommodation sector, the high-end restaurants without flouting these rules."

Yesterday, The Ministry of Health reported 28 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number to 700. An additional 12 patients were discharged from health facilities, bringing total number recoveries to 251. A Covid-19 patient also died in Nairobi, raising fatalities to 33.

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It was also noted that Kenya’s porous borders were emerging as the country's weak point in the fight against the deadly virus. Out of the 28 cases, nine were truck drivers with a history of travel to Tanzania while two cases were from Wajir. Ten of the cases were from Mombasa, with the rest coming from Nairobi. Previously, cases from neighbouring countries have been reported in Busia and Migori.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also noted a growth in the number of coronavirus cases along the Kenya-Tanzania border, and in Wajir and Mandera counties whose origin was Somalia.

“We have noted an increase in the number of positive cases in regions near the Somalia border. Those that live along these areas we urge that you volunteer information...and report movements noted on these areas. Regarding closing our border with Tanzania, every possibility is on the table and when the time comes that measure will be taken,” said Dr Aman.

He noted that the country had steadily increased the capacity from two to 16 laboratories across the country. Counties had also mounted their levels of preparedness.

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