Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (front) addresses a televised news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, March 15, 2020. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced stringent measures to help contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus after two new cases were confirmed on Sunday. Sub-Saharan Africa reported more novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Sunday amid stronger countermeasures against the pandemic. (Xinhua)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (front) addresses a televised news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, March 15, 2020. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced stringent measures to help contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus after two new cases were confirmed on Sunday. Sub-Saharan Africa reported more novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Sunday amid stronger countermeasures against the pandemic. (Xinhua)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announcing pay cuts that will affect senior government officials to help combat COVID-19 in the country.

Kenyatta said all savings from the pay cuts for himself and his deputy as well as senior government officials are expected to go into helping tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic as the number of confirmed cases increased to 28.

The president and his deputy will take 80 percent pay cut while cabinet secretaries and chief administrative secretaries’ salaries will be lashed by 30 percent while principal secretaries will take 20 percent pay cut.

“In sharing the burden occasioned by the present global health pandemic, my administration has offered a voluntary reduction in the salaries of the senior ranks of the National executive,” Kenyatta told a televised news conference in Nairobi.

The president also announced tax reduction measures including targeted state interventions aimed at cushioning every Kenyan from shocks arising from COVID-19.

He said National Treasury to offer 100 percent tax relief to persons earning less than 24,000 shillings (about 230 U.S. dollars) income tax down from 30 percent to 25 percent.

He also said Central Bank of Kenya lowered the Central Bank Rate to 7.25 percent from 8.25 percent which will prompt commercial banks to lower the interest rates to their borrowers, availing the much needed and affordable credit to small enterprises across the country.

He said the lowering of the Cash Reserve Ratio to 4.25 percent from 5.25 percent will provide additional liquidity of 336 million dollars to commercial banks to directly support borrowers that are distressed as a result of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenyatta on Wednesday confirmed three new cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the total number so far to 28.

“I am pleased to announce that numerous other suspected cases have been found to be negative after rigorous testing. This is a clear indication that we can and we will beat the virus,” he told a televised news conference in Nairobi.

Kenyatta said many more persons, both Kenyans and foreigners, remain under either self-quarantine or compulsory-quarantine.

He said health personnel are continuously enhancing testing and quarantine capacity on a day-to-day basis backed by the country’s development partners and international organizations.

He commended donors who have so far assisted Kenya like the Chinese business magnate Jack Ma for their gesture in the hour of need.

Kenya on Tuesday received medical supplies donated by Jack Ma through his Alibaba Foundation as part of efforts to combat the deadly disease in the country. Enditem

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