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CORONAVIRUS FIGHT

Where's that promised Covid-19 Sh5bn? asks Oparanya

President Uhuru announced the 'immediate' emergency allocation on April 16

In Summary

• At least 22 counties have confirmed Covid-19 cases, and 807 patients are in county health facilities.

• The President had said there should be no delays in disbursing funds to help Kenyans deal with the virus.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.
Image: CALISTUS LUCHETU

Thirty-four days after President Uhuru Kenyatta said he had "released" Sh5 billion to the counties to fight Covid-19, the regional governments are yet to receive any money.

At least 22 counties have confirmed Covid-19 cases and 807 patients are in county health facilities, Council of Governors chair Wycliffe Oparanya said on Wednesday. 

He pleaded with the Treasury to release the funds. 

"Despite 22 county governments registering Covid-19 patients, the National Treasury is yet to disburse the Sh5 billion to the county governments," he said in Nairobi. He was delivering an update on counties' preparedness.

President Kenyatta spoke on April 16 when he announced a raft of measures to tackle the pandemic including the establishment of a welfare fund for health workers on the front line.

He said his government had released Sh5 billion to the counties to supplement efforts in protecting citizens from infection.

“The national government has also released an additional Sh5 billion to counties to cushion vulnerable Kenyans. Piloting of the fund will be done in Nairobi,” the President said.

The President said there should be no delays in disbursing the funds.

"I do not expect to hear of needless delays and frustrations in the release of these funds. We should strive to improve and expedite our ability in assisting those in need," the President said at State House, Nairobi.

In the counties, efforts should be coordinated by governors and county commissioners, he said.

President Kenyatta said that if well utilised, the funds would ease the burden on many households as food prices would probably drop.

On Wednesday, Kenya's Covid-19 cases rose to 1,029 with 66 new cases recorded.

This is the highest number in 24 hours.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said 64 of the new cases are Kenyans, while two are foreigners.

A total of 30 are from Mombasa, while 26 are from Nairobi.

Three of the new cases are in Kajiado.

Meanwhile, the government has extended the partial lockdown in Eastleigh and Old Town in Mombasa.

The cessation of movement will be in effect until June 6.

"The restaurants and malls are to remain closed until then," Kagwe said during his briefing.

He said the extension was necessary because cases were surging in those areas.

"Mombasa continues to be a challenge. Thirty of the 66 cases reported today are from Mombasa," the CS said.

Edited by R.Wamochie