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COVID-19

Banks heighten efforts to sensitize customers on secure banking

Some of the ways in which customers can protect themselves include understanding how the bank interacts with you, as the institution does not ask for your credentials – Pin or Password.  Do not click on any link requesting to share personal information or to verify account details. Ensuring you have Multi-Factor Authentication, avoiding using public computers or Wi-Fi connections and finally reporting fraud cases immediately to the Bank or the police.

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Bank.PHOTO/Courtesy.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the migration of consumers from brick and mortar bank transactions to the digital space.

The Kenya Bankers Association’s (KBA) Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2020 indicates bank customers’ preferences for digital services stood at 43%.

This shift has necessitated banks to enlighten the masses on online safety through the ‘Kaa Chonjo’ Awareness campaign, as the country is recovering from the pandemic. According to KBA, there is an increased vulnerability of the public to cybercrimes such as phishing, identity theft and data breaches due to the increased use of online transactions.

According to Equity’s Q1 2021 results, digitization has enabled at least 98% of all Group transactions to happen outside the branches with 86.8% of the transactions being on self-service mobile and Internet banking and 1.6% of the transactions happening on Agency and Merchant banking third party variable cost infrastructure.

Only 1.8% of transactions happened on fixed cost brick and mortar branches and ATM infrastructure, while 89% of the loan transactions were conducted on the mobile channels.

The adoption of digital payments in the sector was accelerated in the number of transactions processed.

The number one enabler for mobile and online transactions was the waiver by the bank of charges amounting to Kshs. 1.5 billion to enhance households’ disposable incomes, while at the same time sensitizing clients to adopt mobile, digital, and online banking, in compliance with health protocols of reduced mobility, minimized interactions, promoting hygiene, and maintaining social distancing. For instance, Equity transactions through the Pay with Equity solutions grew by 31% and the value rising by 58% to reach Kshs.1.07 trillion.

With most transactions happening through online channels, Banks have devised a crucial mechanism to inform and educate the masses on cybersecurity. The bank enhanced online banking, focused on mobile technologies, the internet, and artificial intelligence to drive online channel experience.

Equity has been continuously informing and educating the masses around online safety ensuring that cybersecurity is a top-notch priority. The bank has also been partnering with like-minded institutions such as Safaricom to share technical knowledge and build a common approach to risks such as fraud and cyber-security.

The bank set up a universal customer care number 0763 000 000, which customers are contacted through. This is to ensure that customers are protected from scammers, as they know the bank only calls them using that universal number.

Some of the ways in which customers can protect themselves include understanding how the bank interacts with you, as the institution does not ask for your credentials – Pin or Password.  Do not click on any link requesting to share personal information or to verify account details. Ensuring you have Multi-Factor Authentication, avoiding using public computers or Wi-Fi connections and finally reporting fraud cases immediately to the Bank or the police.

As businesses and individuals become increasingly dependent on technology and digital connectivity, and with Covid-19 exacerbating our dependence, any disruption in our digital progress could be crippling if proper measures are not set. The government regulators, security agents and the banking industry need to continue working together to ensure secure and trusted digital connectivity in a data-driven world, to protect individuals, businesses, and the economy.

According to Data Report, there were 21.75 million internet users in Kenya in January 2021 while the Internet penetration in Kenya stood at 40.0% in January 2021. This number shows how internet penetration has been key in customers uptake of internet and mobile banking. Thus, the need to ensure that the banking systems and securities are uptight to curb the vice.

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COVID-19

County constructs mega Oxygen manufacturing plant at Nakuru PGH

Governor Lee’s administration is increasing the intensive care unit and staff capabilities to enable the County to deal with medical emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and others.

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The upcoming Oxygen plant superstructure

Shortage of medical oxygen in Nakuru County will soon be a thing of the past following the construction of an oxygen production plant at the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The modern plant will be producing 2,000 litres of oxygen per minute and will have a 660kva standby generator to ensure an uninterruptible power supply in the event of a KPLC blackout.

The construction of the superstructures to house the plant and powerhouse is over 90 per cent done. The standby generator and oxygen production equipment arrived in the country early this month.

During the groundbreaking ceremony in August last year, Mr Hillary Kosgei, the Technical Director at Debra Limited said the dual system will ensure uninterruptible Oxygen supply in the event one unit breaks down.

“When the demand for medical Oxygen is low, one machine can rest and this will enhance durability. One unit can refill 48 oxygen cylinders in 24hrs, which is enough to run a hospital,” he stated.

Once complete, Nakuru will be the second County to have such a high-yielding medical oxygen plant in Kenya. The other is found in Uasin Gishu at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

The facility will supplement the 1,200 tonnes capacity per minute plant at the hospital, which is jointly run under public-private partnerships by Hewa Tele Limited and Nakuru County.

The construction of the medical oxygen plant is in line with Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s manifesto of improving the state of healthcare services in the region.

Governor Lee’s administration is increasing the intensive care unit and staff capabilities to enable the County to deal with medical emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and others.

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Government launches COVID-19 booster doses vaccination

In March 2021, the government began vaccination against COVID-19 as an additional mitigation measure against the disease.

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covid-19 vaccine

The Government will from tomorrow roll out COVID-19 booster vaccine doses for those who have completed the primary vaccination series in the last six months.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the move was aimed at maintaining immunity against the disease, especially with the emergence of highly transmissible variants.

He said healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers, those with co-existing medical conditions and those above 50 years of age will be prioritized.

“I call upon this population to present themselves at the nearest vaccination centre for this crucial shot,” he stated in his New Year State address.

In March 2021, the government began vaccination against COVID-19 as an additional mitigation measure against the disease.

To date, Kenya has received 23 million doses of assorted vaccines and 10 million doses have been administered to Kenyans.

“In the past few months, we have witnessed an increase in vaccination rates; and so far 15 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated,” he noted.

He said the country currently has 13 million doses of the vaccines and targets to vaccinate over 30 million Kenyans by the end of December 2022.

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Alarm as COVID-19 positivity rate hits 37.6%

The CS has urged Kenyans to remain cautious and vigilant during the festive season, as the country is still in the midst of a pandemic.

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The Ministry of Health has announced 1,596 new cases of coronavirus from a sample size of 4,242 tested in the last 24 hours.

The country’s positivity rate is at 37.6 per cent.

In a statement on Monday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said from the cases 1,454 are Kenyans while 142 are foreigners, and that a total of 879 patients are females and 717 are males.

The youngest patient is an eight-month-old child while the oldest is 91 years.

This brings the total confirmed positive cases to 284,150 and cumulative tests so far conducted are 2,994,912.

The CS has urged Kenyans to remain cautious and vigilant during the festive season, as the country is still amid a pandemic.

“I would like to urge Kenyans, not to engage in mass parties, but if they have to, do it outdoors and observe the Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and protocols,” Kagwe said.

Distribution of cases

Nairobi has 683 cases, Siaya 213, Murang’a 133, Uasin Gishu 75, Kajiado 73, Kakamega 62, Kiambu 55,

Nakuru 53, Migori 48, Kitui 38, Kericho 33, Nyeri 26, Kwale 19, Laikipia 14, Homa Bay 14, Kirinyaga 13, Embu 13, Marsabit 9, Turkana 6, Machakos 5, Meru 5, Kisii 4 and Makueni 2.

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