President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Health to develop a welfare package to cushion the frontline staff dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic from the harsh economic times.
The move is also meant to motivate the health workers as they struggle to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country and treat those already infected with the COVID-19 disease.
He urged the insurance companies to cover the health requirements of hospital staff, especially those dealing with the pandemic.
“Recognising the critical importance of health, mental and emotional needs of our frontline medical doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, I am today directing the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Health to develop a welfare package to cushion these frontline officers, especially during this challenging time. This should include actions by medical insurance companies to cover the health requirements of our hospital staff especially those dealing with the pandemic.” He said.
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The President in his address to the nation Thursday said the government had also identified the vulnerable people among the urban poor who live in informal settlements who will be the inaugural recipients of the COVID-19 weekly stipends.
” To further cushion vulnerable Kenyans, we have identified needy households in Nairobi that will be the inaugural recipients of the weekly COVID-19 Support Stipend. The piloting of the programme started yesterday and some of the initial beneficiaries have received their stipend.” He added.
The President announced that the government had already released 8.5 billion shillings to the elderly and vulnerable individuals under the Cash-Transfer Program, another 500 million shillings was released to persons with severe disabilities.
” We will continue to provide all necessary assistance to groups, communities and socio-economic sectors that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and its effects.” President Uhuru noted.
The President also directed the ministry of education to work with the response committee to help mitigate any negative impacts on students arising from the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
” My team is also paying attention to critical national matters affected by the pandemic that are causing families anxiety; one such is the holding of exams this year. In this regard, we have also directed the Ministry of Education to work with our response committee to come up with steps to mitigate any negative impact on students due to the measures taken against this pandemic.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned police officers against abusing their power during enforcement of the dusk to dawn curfew, and other directives issued to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing the nation at State House, Nairobi, the President said any officer who breaches the law while implementing the measures against the pandemic will be sanctioned. He warned those in charge of a police station, County Commissioners and Chiefs that they will face consequences for not doing their job.
” We also salute our hardworking and dedicated law-enforcement officers who are keeping Kenya safe and orderly. However, I must note that every time a regulation is breached with the assistance of a Government officer, it risks the lives of thousands of innocent Kenyans. Any officer who breaches his duty to implement the measures against the pandemic will be met with the harshest of sanction. You are meant to serve the people and to protect them, not to enable the selfish few to endanger the rest of Kenyans. If you are in charge of a police station or are a County Commissioner or a Chief, not doing your job you must realize that there will be consequences.”
The head of state at the same time condemned members of the public for assaulting the police, saying such acts will not be tolerated.
” In the same breath I want to condemn in the strongest way possible those of us who can assault or interfere with law enforcement officers doing their job. And I want to reiterate again any such actions will be met with the full force of the law.”