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The new product targets borrowers who have been hit by COVID-19 economic disruption after either losing their jobs or had their incomes reduced/FILE/CFM

Kenya

Cash coming from banks to be quarantined for one week – CBK

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Cash coming out of banks will be quarantined for at least one week, a measure expected to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has killed almost 8,000 people worldwide.

While announcing a raft of measures intended to cushion the economy from the pandemic, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said the cautionary move will ensure the virus is not transmitted through cash.

“All cash will be quarantined for at least one week. This is enough time to ensure the virus is inactive,” Njoroge said.

At the same time, Njoroge encouraged the use of cashless transactions to reduce the physical handling of money.

On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked telcos to reduce charges on mobile money transactions, a directive that has since been implementing with players such as Safaricom scrapping charges on transactions below Sh1,000.

“In order to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money, we encourage the use of cashless transactions such as mobile money and credit cards. We appeal to mobile operators and banks to take into consideration the situation, and reduce the cost of transactions during this period,” Kenyatta said on Sunday.

Kenya has reported 7 cases of the deadly virus.

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