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Pandemic: Raila, Mudavadi warn Kenyans on virus threat

Opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi have warned Kenyans against being reckless. They said stern measures would be taken by the government to contain the spread of Coronavirus should the recklessness continue.

Raila appealed to Kenyans to adhere to the measures already issued, including social distancing, regularly washing hands with soap or using sanitisers and not to attend funerals unless the deceased is a close family member.

“Corona is dangerous and up to now it has claimed the lives of more than 16,000 people across the globe,” said Raila.

He urged Kenyans to avoid crowds and adhere to Ministry of Health guidelines, adding that people should stay at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

Addressing the nation through his Twitter handle, the ODM leader cautioned Kenyans to be vigilant and help stop spreading of the deadly virus.

Mudavadi, the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader, on the other hand said President Uhuru Kenyatta should consider a lockdown if Kenyans continue to disregard instructions meant to contain the pandemic.

“It is very disappointing to see our people treat very frivolously the instructions from the government. Perhaps the best way ahead now is for President Uhuru Kenyatta to order a periodized shutdown,” said Mudavadi.

“This will most likely wake us up to the harsh realities of the mortal dangers that our conduct is exposing us to,” he added. Mudavadi also called on the State to find ways of cushioning its citizens from the harsh economic times occasioned by the pandemic.

He said that the government needs to consider providing food relief, tax waivers as well as water supply to those in slums as part of its support programme during the period.

“You cannot fight a virus if you are malnourished and your immunity system is compromised. We have children and elders who are malnourished. A proper nourishment support programme for these populations is of the essence,” said Mudavadi.

He added: “Equally important, as people stay safe at home, a targeted food relief programme for both the rural and urban poor is a must. The government must roll out such a programme at once.”

He stated that access to water had also become a challenge to some citizens, especially for washing hands, which is a preventive measure for the virus.

In a statement to newsrooms yesterday, Mudavadi further called for review of Value Added Tax on petroleum products as a way of providing relief to the transport sector.

Slightly over 50 per cent per cent of the price of fuel at the pump goes towards taxes and levies.

He also called on the State to find means of supporting the agricultural sector by supporting farmers, especially in the North Rift, to prevent the country from facing food shortage in the near future.

“We need clear proactive contingency measures, with regard to such essentials as fertilisers and seeds, access to agricultural credit and even extension services. If this thing knocks the agricultural sector and it does not produce, we will be in a terrible fix,” he said.At the same time, he wants China to consider waiving interests to some of the loans the country owes it.

Covid 19 Time Series


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