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Kenyans to know ‘back to normal’ plans next week

By Protus Onyango | June 11th 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) has a word with his deputy William Ruto during the third Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit on the coronavirus pandemic at State House, Nairobi, yesterday. [PSCU, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta and governors have agreed to gradually re-open the economy to enable Kenyans get back to their normal lives.

But the finer details of the plan will be be known on Wednesday next week when the two levels of government meet again.

The decision was reached yesterday during the third extraordinary session of the national and county governments coordinating committee summit at State House, Nairobi.

Last week, Uhuru called for the meeting to put in place a common strategy on combating coronavirus disease after experts warned that the country was not ready to relax some of the measures it had put in place to fight Covid-19.

“Having considered the compelling case for the gradual and progressive re-opening of our economy and way of life in a manner that secures the public health imperatives of limiting the spread of Covid-19, the Summit resolved to progressively re-open the economy and our way of life, subject to meeting some milestones and safeguards,” said a statement signed by chairman of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee Dr Fred Matiang’i and chairperson of Council of Governors Wycliffe Oparanya.

The meeting explored how the two levels of government have addressed the hitherto disjointed approach of managing Covid-19. The president and the governors also discussed preparedness by the devolved units in dealing with the pandemic.

“The Summit shall reconvene on Wednesday next week to consider the guidelines for gradual re-opening of the economy, easing the containment measures in place, and protocols to guide the progressive re-opening of places of worship,” the statement said.

The two levels of government agreed that upon conclusion of consultations in the education sector on re-opening of schools and learning institutions, the issuance of the new academic calendar for the year 2020 shall be undertaken in consultation with governors and education stakeholders.

The council will also be involved in plans to re-open places of worship upon conclusion of the on-going discussions between national government and religious leaders under the Inter-faith Council.

The national government agreed to support counties with additional resources to fortify their response to the disease, especially border counties.

[The writer is a 2019/2020 Bertha Fellow]

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