Counties to receive Sh5 billion for Covid-19 response

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By ONESMUS MUTISO
The national government will support Counties response to the fight against Covid-19 crisis, with Sh5 billion to supplement savings the counties have generated and cushion the most vulnerable and protect health workers.
In his fourth address on Covid19 Pandemic, president Uhuru Kenyatta said that an additional Sh 8.5billion  will be released to help the elderly and Vulnerable people in identified households in Nairobi County under Cash Transfer Programme by ministry of labour. 
“We have identified needy households in Nairobi that will be beneficiaries of weekly stipend. Sh. 500million which was in arrears have also been released to  persons with severe disabilities, ” the president said. 
He further noted that counties will receive a three month waiver from Kenya Medical Supplies Agency(KEMSA) requirements for the purchase of masks and Personal protection equipment. 
The ministry of health and ministry of Public service will be required to develop a welfare package to cushion medical officers during the pandemic. 
“Recognising the critical importance of health, mental and emotional needs of our front line medical doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, medical insurance companies should cover  health requirements of our medical staff especially those working on the Covid-19 pandemic “, ordered the president. 
The counties will also provide all necessary assistance to groups, communities and socioeconomic sectors that have been hardest hit by the Virus. 
He however promised Kenyans that despite the pandemic having affected the country’s economy that has cost more than 1 billion shillings, the government is working towards formulating Kenya’s Post Covid-19 Economy recovery plan. 
Kenya has embraced several measures that have helped combat the virus. Every citizen is entitled to wear a face mask while in public places and those who infringe the law risk a six month sentence or Sh. 20, 000 fine. 
Other measures put in place include ; Washing hands with running water, sanitising hands, covering mouth with handkerchief or inner elbow when sneezing, Nighttime curfew and a partial lock down to four most affected counties which the president said are bearing fruits in the fight against the virus. 
In the last 24 hours 704 samples were tested out of which 9 people tested positive bringing the number to 234. 53 people have fully recovered, 11 have lost their lives while 156 patients are in isolation units. 
Today marks one month and 3 days since the country registered first Covid-19 case.
Ends…

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