The government has imposed a 10 hour daily curfew from 7pm to 5am effective from Friday 27, 2020 as a measure of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Giving out the order in his address to the nation on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said this will help Kenya combat the spread of the contagious virus. Kenya has confirmed 28 cases of COVID-19 by Wednesday.
“Effective Friday, 27th March, 2020 a daily curfew from 7pm to 5am shall be in effect in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, with all movement by persons not authorized to do so or not being medical professionals, health workers, critical and essential services providers, being prohibited between those hours,” ordered the President.
President Kenyatta also announced several other measures to be observed by the government in efforts to all Kenyans are safe from the COVID-19.
He stated that many more persons, both Kenyans and foreigners, remain under close monitoring under either self-quarantine or compulsory-quarantine.
“I wish to assure you all that as a government, at both the national and county levels, we are implementing strict evaluation and monitoring protocol, designed to proactively seek out and test persons who may be carriers of this virus,” he added.
The President also assured Kenyans that the government through its medical personnel is continuously enhancing its testing and quarantine capacity on a day-to-day basis, with support from development partners and international organizations.
Other measures announced by President Kenyatta include ordering the National Treasury to implement immediate reliefs and increase disposable income to the people of Kenya through a 100 % tax relief for persons earning gross monthly income of up to Ksh. 24,000, reduction of Income Tax Rate (PAYE) from 30% to 25%, and reduction of the turnover tax rate from the current 3% to 1% for all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Other measures are:
- Appropriation of an additional Ksh. 10 billion to the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account fall overdue or is in arrears, effective April 1, 2020.
- The National Treasury to cause immediate reduction of the VAT from 16% to 14%, effective April 1,2020.
Apart from announcing those measures, the President also urged all Kenyans to observe the norm of social distancing.
“We reiterate that the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus is through basic changes in individual behavior and hygiene. We have recently experienced cases within our country where transmission was from our political and religious leaders who unfortunately did not heed the guidance by the Ministry of Health on self-quarantine and social distancing,” he said.
President Kenyatta however reminded Kenyans that in order to defeat the coronavirus pandemic the nation demands cooperation, collaboration and common action from its citizens.
Those exempted from the daily 10 hour curfew are the providers of critical and essential services. They include:
- Medical Professionals & Health Workers
- National Security, Administration and Coordination Officers
- Public Health and Sanitation Officers in the County Governments
- Licensed Pharmacies and Drug Stores
- Licensed Broadcasters and Media Houses
- Kenya Power & Lightening Company Limited
- Food Dealers, Distributors, Wholesalers and Transporters of Farm Produce
- Licensed Supermarkets, Mini-Markets and Hypermarkets
- Licensed Distributors and Retailers of Petroleum and Oil Products and Lubricants
- Licensed Telecommunication Operators and Service Providers
- Licensed Banks, Financial Institutions and Payment Financial Services
- Fire Brigade and other Emergency Response Services
- Licensed security firms
Over 400,000 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported globally.