Kenya: President Kenyatta Lifts Ban On Importation of Second Hand Clothes

President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the ban imposed on the import of second hand clothes in the country.

Speaking at the 11th briefing over the COVID-19 pandemic on the 26th of August 2020, the president said that Details of how this will operated and the protocols for the same would be announced by the Government.

In March this year, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) imposed the ban on second hand clothes as precautionary measure to curb the spread of the global pandemic in the country.

"The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) wish to notify the general public and all importers of used garments (Mitumba) and used shoes that the importation of used garments and used footwear is hereby prohibited with immediate effect until further notice. This is pursuant to the declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic and in line with the requirements of the applicable Kenya standards, the codes of practice for inspection and acceptance of used garments and footwear, that NO consignment of used garments and footwear shall be accepted from a country experiencing an epidemic." The notice read in part.

The president expressed his confidence in the country's manner of responding to the measures meant to curb the spread of the virus saying they were finally paying off.

"And because of taking this challenge seriously and more importantly partnering with the government, infections have gotten to a manageable level. In fact, we are reporting more recoveries in some instances than infections. Hot spots like Mombasa and Nairobi have begun to stabilize." He said in the state of nation address.

The country's experts have indicated that levels of positivity rate country-wide have fallen from 13% in June to 8% in August 2020.

As of date 26th August 2020, the confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen by 213, bringing the aggregate to 33,016. The country has also lost 5 lives lost over the last 24 hours.

The president has therefore issues directives to expand the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) health architecture:

That the Cabinet Secretary for Health, acting jointly with the Chairperson of Council of Governors, shall constitute a National Reference Group on COVID-19, to review the efficacy of our response to this pandemic so far. The group should record Lessons Learnt and feed them back into the sector nationally and in counties.

The Group should formulate strategies to identify institutional weaknesses within healthcare system at both tiers; recommend ways to increase the representation of the County Governments in the Boards of Healthcare Agencies; and recommend ways in which our national responses to healthcare emergencies can be improved.

The National Reference Group on COVID-19 should position healthcare as a driver of our manufacturing agenda by ensuring that preference is given to local manufacturers in the procurement of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical products.

The National Reference Group on COVID-19 should expand their ongoing work and establish the Kenya COVID Vaccine Consortium, bringing together relevant stakeholders locally and internationally, to sharpen their focus on the development and testing of COVID-19 vaccine locally.

President Kenyatta has also lauded government agencies for their effort to reinvent the wheel and create an opportunity in crisis situations.

"Government institutions like Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have also remodeled their approach. Instead of destroying 1.5 Million Litres of illicit ethanol in their custody, they had it converted into hand sanitizers." Mr Kenyatta said.

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