advertisement
News

Kenya coronavirus cases up by three to 31

 

Kenya has confirmed three new cases of coronavirus raising the total number of patients to 31, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi announced Thursday.

The Covid-19, which was first reported in China, has spread across the globe and infected about 480,000 people. Over 100,000 people have recovered and as at Thursday, 22,150 had succumbed to the deadly virus.

"74 cases have been tested out of which, 3 people have tested positive of coronavirus disease bringing the total number to 31," Dr Mercy Mwangangi said.

The CAS said the latest cases are all Kenyans and close contacts of previously reported cases.

Dr Mwangangi said 906 persons have been traced and are being monitored and that 18 of them at the Mbagathi Hospital.

advertisement

Kenya has not recorded any death and on Wednesday President Uhuru Kenyatta reported the first full recovery giving the country hope of defeating the pandemic.

Coronavirus cases in Kenya according to the Health Ministry are spread in Nairobi, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kajiado counties.

Ms Mwangangi also announced that the government is expanding testing centres to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) centres in Kisumu and Kilifi among others.

The Ministry has tested 600 suspected cases so far.

Economic impact

The current crisis is projected to ravage the economy and on Wednesday the President announced a raft of measure meant to give Kenyans some relief.

Uhuru Wednesday reduced workers’ income tax as well as value-added tax (VAT) and lowered the sales levy for small and mid-sized businesses as part of a raft of measures to help cushion the economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The tax changes are geared to lowering the cost of basic items while providing workers with additional income to boost consumption, which will in turn increase sales for traders, retailers and other outlets.

The countries critical tourism and farm export businesses have been feeling the pinch from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some businesses like hotels have been forced to suspend operations, rendering thousand of workers jobless and without income.

Besides the stimulus package, Mr Kenyatta also said the government will institute a daily curfew beginning on March 27 from 7pm to 5am to check the spread of the virus.

The government also plans to pay pending bills to suppliers in three weeks and speed up company tax refunds to boost businesses’ cash flow and put money in circulation.

Treasury plans to release Sh13 billion to suppliers for unpaid bills within three weeks and expedite the payment of close to Sh10 billion in VAT refunds to businesses in the next three weeks.

advertisement