Guidelines by President Uhuru to manage the spread of Covid-19

President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

As the number of Corona virus Disease patients continue to soar in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has provided a number of guidelines to slow down the spread of the deadly disease. If you are not keen some of these guidelines may find you on the wrong side of the law and you may suffer dire consequences. We have pieced together the guidelines as given by the government.

The Government has already suspended all international travels and limited some others; locally. There is no movement of people into and out of the country. Only allowed to operate are cargo planes. There has, also, been restrictions on movement in and out of areas seen as covid-19 hot-spots. These areas include: the Capital City (Nairobi); which has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases. Others are: Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera counties. There is at the same time a daily dusk to dawn curfew. For all parts of the country, there shall be no movement of individuals between 7.00p.m and 5.00a.m. Only exempted from this curfew are individuals and organizations classified to be offering essential services.

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Also prohibited are social gatherings like funerals, weddings and parties. For funerals, there should be a maximum of fifteen mourners; family members attending the ceremony. Religious gatherings (churches) haven’t been spared either. Other prohibited events are political rallies and all sporting events.

The Government has, in a bid to reduce social interactions, closed down a number of public meeting places. These are: Bars, Pubs, night clubs, social clubs and Learning centres. Others being Sports and recreational centres.

In the public transport sector a raft of measures have been instituted. There is now mandatory and regular sanitization of PSV and bus stations. Before boarding public vehicles all passengers must be provided with hand sanitizers. PSVs have also been instructed to carry limited numbers of passengers in order to ensure social distancing.

To cushion the vulnerable in the society, the government has released a sum total of Sh10 billion to them. This will benefit such groups as the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members in society.

The government has at the same time given a green light to some events but with necessary precaution. To access any public area one must always wear a mask. Events allowed include: Food markets, shopping malls and supermarkets. Banks, media houses, medical facilities, pharmacies, hospitals, door to door deliveries, telecommunication companies and private security companies can continue operating with the necessary precautionary measures in place. Restaurants will only be allowed to give clients take away services only.

To cushion businesses and the public at large, the President has come up with new measures and tax regime. Persons earning a monthly pay of Sh24,000 and below have been awarded a 100% tax relief. This means that their salaries will not be taxed. Value added tax for all goods has been reduced from the current 16% to 14%.

Employees have also been given a reprieve in the amounts of Pay As You Earn, PAYE, taxes. They will now be subjected to a monthly income tax at a rate of 25% down from the current 30%.

For those seeking credit facilities, there has been a temporary freezing of the Credit Reference Bureau, CRB. This will make it easier for everybody to access loans; unconditionally. Those blacklisted for defaulting in the repayment of loan amounts of below Sh.1,000 will have something to smile about as they will now be de-listed; unconditionally.

Small to Medium Enterprises, SMEs, have been awarded a reduced turnover tax; from the current 3% to 1%.

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