Kenya: Kagwe Asks Employers to Be Considerate, Avoid Layoffs in Wake of COVID-19 Slowdown

Nairobi — Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called on employers to be empathetic during coronavirus pandemic period and avoid undertaking unjustified layoffs and pay cuts under the guise of harsh economic conditions.

Kagwe Monday said the negative effects of the virus are being felt across all sectors a thus the need to find a middle ground to address emerging challenges.

"I am urging the employers, please do not withhold people's salaries, people's wages just because of the situation that currently exists. Some of these employees have helped employers for many years, so it is time for you employers to also support your staff. It is time to give," Kagwe said.

He further urged the employers to allow their employees to leave their workstations by 4pm so that they make it home before the dusk-to-dawn curfew adding that it is high time for everyone to sacrifice in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

"For clarification, the 4pm departure is not to say that you start reducing people's allowances or even salaries, it is simply to allow them to leave earlier. It is time to sacrifice, we all should and we all must," Kagwe added.

CS Kagwe announced the country had recorded eight additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 50.

Kagwe said 1,211 persons who came into class contact with confirmed cases are still being processed with 231 who have tested positive having been discharged after completing a mandatory quarantine period.

"One case is from our quarantined guests, 6 confirmed cases are from 88 tested samples of people who came into close contact with confirmed patients and additional one from Agha Khan hospital," said Kagwe.

The CS said Nairobi remains the epicenter of the infections leading with 34 cases, followed by Kilifi with 6. Kitui registered its first case on Monday.

He urged those who live in urban areas specifically in Nairobi not to travel to rural areas as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, especially among the elderly.

"We are encouraging those who live in Nairobi against travelling upcountry during this period. Statistics show that majority of our elderly live in upcountry and they are likely to be exposed like it happened in Italy by this kind of movements," Kagwe urged.

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