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Entry of cargo vessels to continue despite fears of escalating coronavirus cases

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Kenya will continue to receive cargo vessels and cargo aircrafts, a measure expected to cushion the economy from suffering extreme losses, despite fears of escalating cases of coronavirus.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says the aircrafts and the vessels will be disinfected at the point of departure, while the crew members will be quarantined upon arrival.

“In order to mitigate losses being suffered in the economy….we have considered and found ways of ensuring these come into the country provided they are disinfected and their crew quarantined,” he said.

At the same time, Kagwe said Kenya Ports Authority has been ordered to allow goods from overseas adding that the government has been in talks with Chinese authorities to Kenya to allow goods into the country.

“As China restarts its factories, we need to start moving goods. There are ships in high seas in Kenya and we advised KPA to allow shipments,” he added.

The CS spoke when he confirmed the fourth case of coronavirus in the country.

The move by the government could save the country’s supply chain and manufacturing sector which has been severely disrupted by the pandemic.

A report by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) reveals that imports from China account for approximately 21 percent of Kenya’s total imports, adding that low supply of imports from China as well as South Korea especially in terms of electronics could lead to prices rising to exorbitant levels.

Electrical machinery, spare parts, railway, and trainway locomotives, iron and steel, and vehicles are the leading imports from China.

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According to Reuters, China is the largest container cargo handler – processing around 30 percent of global traffic or around 715,000 containers a day in 2019.

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