Industry captains hail move by State to ease Covid-19 restrictions
Captains of industry have hailed moves to ease coronavirus restrictions as the country tries to avoid turning the health hazard into an economic one.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s timely intervention to ease the dusk-to-dawn curfew while facilitating a resumption of business activities. The move extends curfew hours from 7pm to 9pm giving SMEs the opportunity to work for more hours daily.
The chamber president Richard Ngatia said these measures take cognisance of the delicate situation and maintaining safety as a priority, “but life has to go on”.
He said the move will resuscitate the economy and allow people more people an opportunity to have a daily meal, income and at the very least be facilitated to meet basic daily necessities.
“The directive by President Kenyatta will see Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) majority of which had closed down resume operations,” he said.
“It is also instructive to note that if every member of the society abides by these guidelines which calls for high individual responsibility, we shall overcome.”
A restaurant and pub owner who had considered closing shop hailed the move saying the extension of hours will make it easier to make ends meet.
“We shall ensure there is social distancing to stop the spread, this was a good move,” said Joel Ngugi.
Among industries which have warmed up to the idea is the tourism and hospitality sector which was the first to reopen saying they will adhere to covid-19 pandemic protocols to instil confidence to both domestic and international travellers.
Speaking during a tourism sector roundtable webinar hosted by Kenya Tourism Board the organisation’s chief executive Betty Radier said easing of restrictions will create confidence in domestic market.
“We should begin to show our preparedness and that we are ready to make sure that they are safe within our facilities,” she aid.
Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers CEO Mike Macharia said set protocols must be strictly adhered to by all to ensure that clients are confident with the services provided.
“We believe that we can win this fight, we just need to focus. What is required is communication on behavioural change especially in other sub-sectors like transport to ensure that the numbers don’t continue to increase,” he said.
Calling this situation the new normal, Ngatia said since traders must live with this situation, it now boils down to individual responsibility in observing social distancing rules, sanitising, wearing face masks properly, and regularly washing hands with running water and soap.