The Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina has urged partners and stakeholders in the industry and trade sector to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health.
Ms Maina said the sectors output has been adversely affected for the last one year and four months by the pandemic and the measures employed by the government to mitigate the spread of the disease.
She said the government recognizes that the health crisis created by the 4th wave of the pandemic could potentially overrun the country’s health sector, as well as worsen the economic downturn the country has been experiencing since the onset of the virus in March 2020, a need that people should not relax from observing the protocols.
She said her ministry jointly with the business community last year prepared guidelines for safe operations of businesses to ensure that the premises do not turn into avenues of spreading the virus to workers and clients.
The guidelines which have been divided into individual protocols cover all the sectors and spaces within which businesses operate which include the factory, retail trade, and marketing spaces in the bars, restaurants and market places.
“We are urging people to avoid crowding, close contact, closed spaces and prolonged time together and to wear face masks, keep social distance and observe hand washing as this will help reduce chances of spreading the virus,” advised Ms Maina.
The CS who was speaking today during the Business Stakeholders’ Communication to the press on the response to the 4th wave of Covid-19 pandemic at the NSSF grounds in Nairobi said the guidelines can be downloaded from the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development website under the resource section, Covid -19 intervention.
“We in the Ministry of Industrialization are saddened by the loss of more than 3,900 Kenyans to the pandemic. These are not just statistics, but to us, these could have been potential industrialists, suppliers, entrepreneurs, transporters and customers,” she lamented.
Ms Maina said if Kenyans keep the surge of infections under control, the country will be able to continue with normal business operations, as well as save on medical expenses and loss of man hours.
She at the same time reiterated the commitment of the government and the business community to work together to improve the country’s economy which has been affected by the pandemic.
The CS said the ministry was focusing on the Small Medium Enterprises in order to increase their chances of sustained economic activity, and added that the manufacturing sector is also committed to supplying medical products and supplies used in the management of Covid-19 pandemic.
She also commended the local manufacturing industries for exporting personal protective equipment to the neighboring countries.
Speaking at the event, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chairperson, Flora Mutahi said the private sector is working with the government to import one million doses of vaccines for the private sector.
She said the incentive that the government is giving Kenyans now, is for each individual to self-police to avoid the spread of the virus.
“I laud this incentive as it is a chance for us to manage ourselves and keep the economy running, let all of us in business follow the protocols given so that we do not congest hospitals,” appealed Ms Mutahi.
She said the private Sector will continue working closely with the government in a bid to have a healthy economy and populace as the country fights the deadly pandemic.
Present at the event were the Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development David Osiany, Principal Secretary for Industry Amb. Kaberia Kirimi and Principal Secretary Trade Amb. Johnson Weru and several leaders from the business Sector.
By Bernadette Khaduli/Hamdi Mohammed