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Developing: Kenyans wait as Uhuru chairs Covid-19 conference

By Japheth Ogila | September 28th 2020 at 12:19:21 GMT +0300

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a past national address. He is chairing 12th National Covid-19 Conference at KICC on Monday afternoon.  [File, Standard]

Fingers were crossed as Kenyans waited for the outcome of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address on the Covid-19 today.

The President is meeting governors and cabinet secretaries in another National Covid-19 Conference session scheduled for 2.00pm at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

An invite drafted by the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus has instructed the stakeholders lined up for the meeting to get seated at the venue from 1.30pm.

According to the conference schedule, various panels are going to review the milestones and plans by the government in fighting the pandemic.

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The panels will discuss themes such as, Building Back Stronger – Lives and Livelihoods and Resource Mobilisation and Utilisation for Covid-19. The team will also watch a short video on Kazi Mtaani, youth employment project commenced during the virus outbreak.

Revision of guidelines

At the conference, the president is expected to lead other state officers in deliberating the transition formula to the post-Covid-19 new normal. A raft of Covid-19 measures are expected to be reviewed months after they were crafted to enforce social distancing. The President is expected to take to the podium and address the nation at 6.30pm as the conference comes to an end.

Last week, on September 21, 2020, the State extended dusk to dawn curfew (9pm to 4am) to Tuesday, September 28- a day when President Uhuru is expected to address the nation on the future of the country, in regards to managing the pandemic.

In the gazette notice published by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, the Head of State extended the curfew, closure of bars and restaurants ahead of his 12th national address on the pandemic.

“The National Covid-19 Conference will be presided over by his excellency the President on Monday, 28th September 2020 and will feature participants from the entire spectrum of our national life. This pivotal conference is tipped to be a turning point in Kenya’s fight against the novel coronavirus Disease,” Kinyua said.

Lifted partial lockdowns

On July 20, 2020, Uhuru met governors and lifted the cessation of movements into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera counties after it emerged that the Covid-19 infections had dropped.

The President at the time warned against the possible lockdown had the situation deteriorated after 21 days.

“Should the situation deteriorate and pose challenge to our health systems. We will have to revert back to the lock down. For the next 21 days, we will study the patterns of interactions and spread of disease, any trends that signal worsening of pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to lock down at zero option,” he said warned.

With transport sector grounded by the pandemic, the government initiated phased reopening of the airspace allowing traveling in and outside the country. The government also allowed increase in the number of attendees in the places worship. This was after clerics protested protocols barring congregants above 58 years of age and below 13 years.

In the next virtual meeting which he chaired on August 31, 2020, the President announced a breakthrough in the war against the virus saying the curve was flattening. He however warned against complacency saying any disregard to the health protocols would roil the gains made in the campaign.

"The good news is that in the middle of this crisis, the curve is beginning to flatten. However, we must not celebrate this happy moment too soon but rather celebrate it with a great deal of caution," he said.

"If indeed we are to shift our response from tactic to strategic intervention, we must do a simulation of how this will work. A shift from symptomatic response of Covid-19 to structural response under universal health coverage must be well thought out," Uhuru added as he urged stakeholders to employ proactive strategies to combat the spread of the virus.

Kenya so far has 38,115 cases, 691 deaths, and 24,621 recoveries.




President Uhuru Kenyatta National Covid-19 Conference KICC
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