Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has ruled out the government shutting down the Kenyan economy again even as the Covid-19 cases continue to surge alarmingly.
Yatani warned on Tuesday that Kenyans should brace for harsher economic times if the measures being put in place to tame the fast spreading virus do not bear fruit.
The CS said it is difficult to imagine shutting down the economy again given the adverse effects the cessation of movement and tax relief measures had on government’s revenue targets.
“Total closure of the economy cannot work. It’s difficult. The people have to work and have to place food on the table. They cannot do that when the economy is shut,” noted Yatani.
Yatani instead urged Kenyans to, at a personal level, observe Covid-19 protocols put in place by and further appealed to the government to stop activities that are spreading Coronavirus fast.
“We propose to the government to strike a balance so that we reduce the spread of the disease but keep the economy running at the best of its capacity,” he added.
He painted a gloomy picture for Kenyans should all measures fail, saying the government had already lost up to Sh172 billion following cessation and tax relief initiated when the virus first hit the country in March.
“We just hope the coping mechanisms that we have put in place will enable us to walk through this. The situation can get worse and, therefore, it will call for tightening of belts at all levels. It’s not going to be business as usual even at the home level, even at the personal level you’ll readjust your own economy,” the CS warned.
The Treasury boss spoke amid a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in Kenya and as concerns are being raised that health facilities were getting overrun across the country as cases keep rise fast.