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CORONAVIRUS: CAK warns against commodities’ price hikes as panic buying begins

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Competition Authority of Kenya has warned manufacturers and retailers against colluding to increase prices or hoard commodities amid increased panic buying following the diagnosis of the first coronavirus case in Kenya.

In a statement, the competition watchdog says defaulters will attract a penalty of up to 10 percent of their respective turnover, as provided in the Competition Act.

CAK’s Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki has urged Kenyans to report any case of hiked pricing to the authority’s offices.

This comes at a time when supermarkets across the country have reported panic shopping over coronavirus fears.

In a statement, Tuskys Chief Executive Officer Dan Githua said their outlets have witnessed an influx in the number of customers trying to stock up but assured that there are adequate supplies at standard prices.

“…we wish to assure the public that the panic is unnecessary. We have engaged with our suppliers and received firm commitments that we shall continue receiving the necessary supplies at the standard prices,” Githua said.

Meanwhile, the Insurers Regulatory Authority (IRA) has assured the public that the insurers will continue to provide their services to policyholders affected or infected with the virus.

Commissioner of Insurance, Godfrey Kiptum said that IRA is committed to the government’s mitigation measures aimed at minimizing exposure to policyholders and beneficiaries.

Their statement is contrary to earlier reports that insurance firms wouldn’t be covering medical expenses for coronavirus victims after the World Health Organization declared it a world pandemic.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Friday said the virus was confirmed on a 27-year-old female student who traveled in from the United States via London, United Kingdom.

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