The novel coronavirus has upended the world’s social and economic fabric. Since China first identified the virus last year, regions have been shuttered.
Schools and businesses shut down, travel restricted, events and sports cancelled and hardest of all, the incorporation of social distancing.
Coronavirus has reached Kenya and the pandemic has affected the country in different ways. Let’s take a look at a timeline, depicting how it has affected Kenya.
Initial Reports of the Coronavirus
January 7th, 2020: Officials announce the identification of a new virus. The virus’ name is nCoV. It is said to be part of the Coronavirus family.
11th January, 2020: China announces its first death from the virus. A 61-year-old man is admitted to hospital and dies of heart failure on the evening of January 9th.
13th January, 2020: WHO reports a case in Thailand. The first case outside of China.
22nd January, 2020: China reports 17 deaths, 550 infections. The United States, Thailand, Nepal, France, Taiwan and South Korea also report coronavirus cases.
31st January, 2020: China declares the coronavirus a global emergency. The death toll in China jumps to 170 with 7,711 cases in all 31 provinces. The virus spreads rapidly throughout China. This causes the closure of Hong Kong Disney Land, Ocean Park, Great Wall of China and flights to and from the country, cancelled.
14th February, 2020 – Egypt becomes the first country in Africa to report a case. The death toll had now risen to 1500 deaths and 66,492 cases.
10th March, 2020: The coronavirus has killed nearly 3,500 people and infected another 102,000 people across 90 countries. Lebanon and Morocco report their first deaths. The Republic of Congo confirms its first cases of infection.
11th March, 2020: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
Effects of The Coronavirus in Kenya
6th March, 2020: Kenya Ministry of Health Communicates
The Ministry of health alerts Kenyans through text that they will be sending info on the coronavirus. hey also set up a Toll-Free line for the same purpose. 0800721316.
12 March, 2020 – First Case of the coronavirus confirmed in Kenya
The victim is a Kenyan Citizen who travelled back from Nairobi, via London on 5th March, 2020. The patient took herself to the hospital immediately she displayed symptoms.
As a response to this, the government suspends public events, meetings and crusades.
15 March, 2020 – Two more cases confirmed
The president, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta announces that we have received two more cases of COVID-19 in Kenya. Primary Schools and High Schools would be closed on Monday and Wednesday respectively. Universities would also be closed as from 16th March, 2020.
16th March 2020 – Mobile Money Payments
Following a meeting with Payment service providers, the Central bank of Kenya announced a set of measures to help facilitate increased use of mobile money transactions.
- Safaricom announces that any transactions less than KES 1000 would be completely free for the next 90 days, starting March 17th.
- They will also increase the maximum M-PESA transaction limit from KES 140,000 to KES 300,000.
- AIRTEL also announced that transactions conducted on Airtel’s mobile money platform will be free, starting from the 17th of March.
Airtel has also set up a toll-free line 719, where all customers can now access information and updates on the COVID-19.
The results of the coronavirus affecting two more people in Kenya led to a nationwide cause of concern. Kenyans have followed the guidelines from WHO. For example,
- Children will no longer be going to school and we have provided sites where your child can still read and learn online.
- Work from home has been instituted in many companies and organizations. Here is a list of sites you can use as an organization to work from home.
17th March, 2020: iHub Suspends co-working services.
Amid the presence of coronavirus in Kenya, iHub will suspend he co-working services until further notice.
Tech companies are responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by limiting travel, cancelling major events and fighting growing misinformation on their platforms.
If you’re in the market for new devices, then you may experience delays in shipping as factories in China temporarily close – or run a limited operation – to combat the virus. Similarly, tech companies are cancelling launch events which may change release dates of devices.
Phone Companies Slow Down Phone Production
This includes Transsion, the maker of Infinix, TECNO and Itel, Samsung, HUAWEI and Apple. They have forced to slow down operations in the wake of this pandemic.
Little sends a statement with regards to the Coronavirus outbreak in Kenya.
We are educating our driver-partners on the safety guidelines as per the WHO website. We are planning to distribute alcohol-based hand sanitizer with all our drivers. We will be having an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process with. We will use certified chemicals that kill viruses, bacteria, and germs.
18th March, 2020: Updates on Home Schooling and NTSA Doesn’t want you to use cash
As the number of confirmed cases rises to 7, homeschooling has become a must in Kenyan households. The CS urges Kenyans to keep children learning. The CS said that the ministry has partnered with the state broadcaster, the Kenya Broadcasting Services, to broadcast radio programs daily from Monday to Friday through their Radio Taifa and English Service.
Radio Taifa lessons will run from 10 am to 11 am and the English Service lessons will run from 9:15 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm.
The CS, George Magoha said that for television learning, the lessons will be transmitted on the Kenya Institute and Curriculum Development (KICD)Edu-Channel TV. This content will be uploaded to their YouTube Channel.
NTSA sends a message informing Kenyans on the steps they are advising to help curb the spread of the virus.
“You can pay your PSV fares through any mobile money payment platform following reduction of transaction fees. Avoid cash payment. Protect yourself, family and the community #COVID-19.”
Banks waive transaction fees
“Dear Customer, to support cashless transactions as a measure aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19, we have waived transaction fees on the following channels: PesaLink, Account to M-PESA and Mobile Money transfers effective immediately. This waiver will be available for a period of 90 days. In addition, transaction limits for mobile money transactions have been increased to KES 150,000 (PesaLink limits remain the same).
Little has given up its 15 percent commission to reward its 50,000 drivers
Corporate communications head Joseph Christopher said this was aimed at encouraging drivers to respond to individual requests by Kenyans
“We have decided that in this time of reduced business activity, we will not be charging any commission to our drivers on their retail rides, so that they can keep all the revenue they make. We normally charge 15 per cent of the trip value as our commission but this has been forfeited to ensure that our driver earns a decent living,” he said.
18th March, 2020: Loop Reverses Charges on Transactions made from 16th March
Hey Looper, in support of facilitating cashless payments, we wish to advise that we will effect a waiver on all outgoing Loop payment services for a period of 90 days from 20th Mar 2020. We confirm all fees charged from 16th Mar 2020 will be reversed to your Loop Account. #GoCashlessWithLoop
19-20th March, 2020: Kenyan Organizations VS COVID-19
Kenyan organizations, Jumia, Glovo, Equity, Uber Kenya, SafeBoda and SkyGarden have taken measures to help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus in Kenya.
Public Transport Rules Change
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe: 14-seater matatus to carry a maximum of eight passengers, while 25-seaters to carry 15.
Meanwhile, 30-seater PSVs and above should carry no more than 60 percent of their capacity. This applies to SGR and commuter trains. #COVID19KE
— Victoria Rubadiri (@VickyRubadiri) March 20, 2020
22nd March, 2020: 8 more cases are confirmed, All international flights have been cancelled
— K24 TV (@K24Tv) March 22, 2020
CS Kagwe announces that 8 more cases have been confirmed in Kenya. 5 of the cases are Kenyan Citizens and 3 are foreigners.
International Flights Cancelled
As of 25th, all international flights have been cancelled. All citizens have been asked to return before that day.
Bars and Restaurants
Bars are to be closed as from midnight tonight. Restaurants will remain open but you can only get take away.
Church, Mosque and other social gatherings cancelled.
25th March, 2020: Borders closed, cases reach 26 and a curfew is set
Kenya has now reported 26 COVID-19 cases. The government has also barred all flights to and from the country.
The President issues a nationwide curfew from Friday the 27th of March that starts at 7 PM and ends at 5 AM.CHECK OUT OUR COVID-19 COVERAGE HERE