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COVID-19

President Uhuru: Why COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘blessing in disguise’

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented transformations in the country’s health sector, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.

He said the transformation is probably one of the most phenomenal testimonies of how Kenya transformed COVID-19 obstacles into opportunities that improved the health sector.

He said one of the unintended benefits of the pandemic is the increase of intensive care unit bed capacity from 108 to 651 ICU ready beds, an impressive 502 per cent.

“Similarly, our total hospital bed capacity as a country has increased by 47 per cent from 56,069 in 2013 to the current figure of 82,291 hospital beds spread throughout the country,” he noted.

While highlighting key achievements during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga County, the President also said the country has improved oxygen production capacity significantly.

The President reported that public health facilities can now produce over 32 million litters of medical Oxygen per day, up from 3 million litres per day in March 2020.

On testing capacity, he said the country in March 2020 only had one referencing laboratory to test notifiable diseases of international concern but now boosts of 95 such labs.

“Let me remind you that at the beginning of the pandemic early last year, we used to ship our samples for testing in South Africa and the results turnaround time would be anything from 5 days onwards,” he stated.

He said the strategic diagnostic investments have strengthened the country’s healthcare system especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It will propel us faster towards the attainment of UHC and fortify our country’s preparedness for future global health security challenges,” he stated.

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COVID-19

How one entrepreneur is keeping hope alive among Kenyans

During the height of COVID-19, Jayesh Saini vowed not to add to the challenges afflicting Kenyans by down-scaling or closing shop, despite the macro economic pressures to do so.

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Jayesh Saini.PHOTO/COURTESY.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that about 250,000 jobs were shed in the 3 months leading to March 2021.

This was despite the economy having showed signs of recovery from the COVID-19 hardships. This report plainly shows that COVID -19 pandemic has been a grim period for workers and businesses indicating the employment sector is trailing   the ongoing economic recovery.

COVID-19 has been a huge setback for the progress on poverty eradication in Kenya. Job losses, food insecurity and impact on social lifestyles has also seen a spike  in mental health cases.

While many companies were shutting down or down-scaling, there are some companies that always remained fully operational and open.

A good example is the Group of Companies  founded and chaired by Jayesh Saini, one of the top entrepreneurs in the country.

During the height of COVID-19, Jayesh Saini vowed not to add to the challenges afflicting Kenyans by down-scaling or closing shop, despite the macro economic pressures to do so.

This single act to keep his over 3,000 employees employed throughout the pandemic period in his various establishments has been key in ensuring their food security, healthcare and housing for the past one and a half years.

The efforts towards supporting his staff during this difficult time has had a big effect on his companies in terms of the personal toll it has taken to keep them afloat.

However, this strain is nothing compared to the far reaching impact this has had on his staff e.g. continuation of education for staff children, effective support in the event of illness through the Bliss Healthcare network and fostering strong relationships at home leading to better mental health.

This ultimately leads to better work performance.

We are not out of the woods yet as regards COVID-19, even with the lifting of the curfew recently.

However, with emphasis on getting more Kenyans vaccinated and having more affordable health set ups offering quality healthcare like Bliss Healthcare, we shall make it out of this pandemic stronger and better than ever!

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COVID-19

Kenya to begin repackaging human vaccines by April 2022

Today, the President said he was pleased to confirm to the nation that Kenya was on course to realize this target. As of today, over 5 million adults have been inoculated.

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Kenya will have the capacity to repackage the COVID-19 vaccine by early next year, President Uhuru Kenya has announced adding that the pandemic had taught the country the essence of self-reliance.

In May, the Ministry of Health said talks were underway with the Oxford AstraZeneca manufacturers to enable the importation of large quantities for repackaging in vials.

In his Mashujaa Day address earlier today at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County, the President directed the Ministry of Health to fast-track the vaccine production capacity process.

“As the first step towards this goal, we have established a company to facilitate this venture in the name of Kenya Biovax Limited,” he stated saying the form and fill rollout by Easter of 2022.

The country aims to have a fully-fledged human vaccine manufacturing capability by 2024, the National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan from the Ministry of Health shows.

On June 29, 2021, during his Sixteenth Address on the COVID-19 Pandemic, the President pledged to the nation that by Christmas this year over 10 million adults would have been vaccinated.

Today, the President said he was pleased to confirm to the nation that Kenya was on course to realize this target. As of today, over 5 million adults have been inoculated.

He said compliance to Ministry of Health protocols has seen new infections decline over the last two weeks, as characterized by the positivity rate of below 5 per cent over this period.

“It is, however, important for all of us to appreciate that we are not yet out of the woods. We must, therefore, continue to observe the containment measures as directed by the MoH,” he noted.

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COVID-19

Uhuru lifts nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew

The President said a progress report given by the National Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 and the National Security Council led to the review of the existing containment measures.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the Covid-19 curfew saying the national infection rate had declined significantly over the last fortnight to below 5 per cent.

The President thanked Kenyans for exercising an admirable degree of civic responsibility in the fight against the disease and urged them to continue observing the Ministry of Health protocols sustain the gains the country has made towards the full re-opening of the economy.

“I particularly want to thank our inter-faith council for their co-operation in steering the resumption of in-person and congregational worship and all our health workers and security officers for their commitment to duty,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State spoke at the Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County when he led the nation in celebrations to mark this year’s Mashujaa Day, a national holiday marked in honour of Kenya’s independence heroes.

The President said a progress report given by the National Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 and the National Security Council led to the review of the existing containment measures.

“Accordingly, the number of persons gathering for in-person worship is reviewed upwards from one-third of the congregants to two-thirds provided that they adhere to all health protocols as directed by the Government,” he said.

At the same time, the Head of State announced the rollout of a new fiscal stimulus programme geared towards accelerating the country’s economic growth.

He said the third stimulus programme that takes effect from November 1st targets key product and service sectors in 14 strategic interventions that cover agriculture, health, education, drought response, policy, infrastructure, financial inclusion, energy and environmental conservation.

“With significant progress registered in the containment of COVID-19, it is now time to shift our focus from survival to co-existing with the disease. In that regard, my Administration will be rolling out the third financial stimulus programme designed to accelerate the pace of our economic growth and to sustain the gains already made,” the President said.

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