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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,25TH MARCH,2021-The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has issued the government with proposals of additional measures to be instituted for the next 3 weeks aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, among them a review of the curfew hours from 10 pm to 9pm-4am.
KEPSA, in a press statement issued on Thursday, cited the spike in infections over the last few weeks, with the positivity rate now standing at 16.5 per cent, as reasons for the proposed measures.
“The private sector also wishes to state categorically and without hesitation its support for the ongoing vaccination campaign. We must not only vaccinate our people; we must also intensify this campaign to ensure all Kenyans who want to be vaccinated are vaccinated by July 31 2021,” read the statement signed by CEO Carole Karuga.
KEPSA urged the government to institute a countrywide curfew starting at 9pm till 4am for the next 3 weeks, during which only companies operating night shifts, night deliveries, and other essential services should be exempted.
The sector also wants all social gatherings including ceremonies to mark Idd and Easter celebrations restricted to indoors for the same duration.
It proposed the limitation of people attending funerals to below 15, reduction in the number of people attending physical meetings in offices, and the policing of the country’s borders to minimize cross-border spread.
In addition, KEPSA urged the government to initiate a massive vaccine roll-out plan, issue an indemnity to enable the private sector bring in more vaccines, as well as encourage religious leaders to take the vaccine.
“This move will increase public confidence and increase vaccine uptake. Private sector leaders above 50 years are ready to get vaccinated publicly in order to create more awareness on vaccination,” added the statement.
“Increase number of ventilators, field hospitals to boost the capacity of health facilities which is still the same as it was at the beginning.”
It further proposed: “NHIF to expedite the accreditation & contracting, capitation, pre-authorization and claims turnaround processes. This will create capacity at primary health facilities to provide other medical services hence continuity of care as we manage COVID-19 cases in the designated treatment and isolation centres – Faith Based and Rural hospitals are most affected by the NHIF delays.”
KEPSA also proposed a rollout campaign on immune-boosting measures through, for instance, increased uptake of foods rich in Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D.
The private sector alliance urged the government to conduct sensitization campaigns targeting the youth through the media as well as a creative sector-led campaign through MkenyaDaima.