Message from HE Jean Kamau

The Government of the Republic of Kenya imposed a curfew on the entire country beginning 27th March 2020 for a period of 30days. This was done by the government in a bid to avert further spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. The curfew applies between 7pm to 5am daily until 26th April 2020.

The measure was also put in place alongside the announcement of cessation of international flights in and out of Kenya.

The curfew 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 as announced by the Head of State, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Head of State further directed that only Critical and Essential Service Providers will not be affected by the curfew. Those include; Medical Professionals and Health Workers, National Security, Administration and Co-ordination 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.

Others are; 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.

Also listed as essential service providers were Licensed Telecommunication Operators and Service Providers, Licensed Banks, Financial Institutions and Payment Financial Services, Fire Brigade and other Emergency Response Services and Licensed security firms.

Kenya has also promoted cashless transactions, where it is already a pioneer. The East African state’s largest mobile phone operator, Safaricom, has scrapped fees for mobile money transactions below 1,000 shillings ($10; £8) in order to encourage cashless payments.

While the immediate objective is to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 [coronavirus] by handling banknotes, this will also reduce the use of cash in the economy over the medium term according to the Central Bank of Kenya. This is just one of a raft of measures Kenya has put in place since reporting its first case on 12th March 2020 – that of a 27-year-old woman who flew in from the US via London.

Alongside the measures put in place, Kenyans have also been asked to observe the following:

  • Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (5 feet) between themselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Persons with a cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but avoid mixing with others in a crowd.
  • Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering their mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue, or into flexed elbow.
  • Stay at home if they feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
  • Suspend all public gatherings, meetings, religious crusades games events, church services etc.
  • Closure of all schools and institutions of higher learning.
  • Public transport services have been directed to observe social distancing by significantly reducing the number of passengers. Public transport providers are also directed to provide hand sanitizers for their clients and regular cleaning of the vehicles.
  • Temporary suspension of prison visits for the next 30 days.
  • Goverment urging any person visiting a supermarket or any open air market to wear a protective mask immediately to prevent transmission of the virus.
  • Kenyans must not abuse social media platforms or indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause fear and panic.
  • Funerals to be attended by no more than 15 people including family members
  • Cessation of movement by air, road, rail or any other to and from Nairoabi, Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale Counties. These are areas that have been identified to have higher infection cases.

The Government has also been disseminating information to the public on daily basis.

As of yesterday, 5th April 2020, and according to Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, a total of 530 samples had been tested out of which sixteen (16) people have tested positive for the Coronavirus disease. Out of this number fifteen (15) are Kenyans and one (1) Nigerian National. Out of this number eleven, (11) have got a history of travel, while five (5) are locally transmitted. Out of this number, nine (9) are from the quarantine facilities while seven (7) are from contact tracing. The sixteen (16) people have already been moved into isolation in various health facilities and contact tracing is ongoing. As of yesterday the total cases that had tested positive for COVID-19 were 142. However, the numbers increased to 158 cases as at today, 6th April 2020. To date, Kenya has managed to test 4,277 samples from individuals.

Kenya has reported 4 recoveries so far and this is quite encouraging coupled with measures that have been put in place to contain the spread of the disease including restriction of movements from one place to another with calls for the youth not to travel upcountry where they may infect the elderly.

The government has started manufacturing protective masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for prevention against Corona Virus disease.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade and Industry Betty Maina disclosed that the Kenyan textile industry has risen up to the task and is currently able to produce as many masks as required including PPEs.

The samples have already been presented to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) for testing and confirmation of compliance with Kenyans standards. She disclosed that the material which is in stock among the manufacturers is sufficient to make 60 million masks with immediate effect.

The government’s efforts to curb spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has also received a major boost after Eldoret-based Rivatex East Africa Limited embarked on mass production of face masks. The masks are expected to be supplied to the National Government for use in the battle against coronavirus. Seven other manufacturers have been involved to manufacture the face masks.

We shall all overcome this pandemic. Solidarity and togetherness is our strength.

Embassy Direct has a powerful network of greatly varied entities, within its membership and reach. Many are in need of supplies whilst others are able to supply. In order to be proactive, during this time, please advise us, with regards to the two questions below. Should we have a match with our network, we would be happy to connect you directly.

Kenya has a variety of commodities for export ranging from horticultural products and tea. The top 10 Kenya’s export are:

  1. Coffee, tea, spices
  2. Live trees, plants, cut flowers
  3. Vegetables
  4. Clothing, accessories
  5. Fruits, nuts
  6. Ores, slag, ash
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories
  8. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations
  9. Gems, precious metals
  10. Pharmaceuticals

Any supplies inquiries may be forwarded to the Kenya High Commission, Pretoria.