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Coronavirus claims 300,000 jobs in Kenya – Govt

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – An estimated 300,000 people in Kenya have lost their jobs since the first case of coronavirus was reported in March, according to government officials.

Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman said the job losses have as a result affected over 3 million livelihoods in the country.

“Each and every person who has lost their job directly or indirectly affects at least 10 other people,” Dr Aman said.

Aman said the country has had to deal with several setbacks since the emergence of the virus in the country. These include stress in the family unit, inability to pay rent, increased gender-based and domestic violence, among many other issues.

“These are setbacks in our projected economic growth; challenging as these times may be, we are nonetheless confident that we shall overcome and bounce back even much stronger,” Aman said.

The numbers come barely a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that thousands of jobs were at stake.

On May 1st, the President estimated that Kenya would lose over half a million jobs in the next six months if the country fails to put in place enough measures to flatten the curve.

“Businesses have closed down abruptly, working hours have reduced and opportunities have been lost. sadly, the result is job losses for our people, and i feel the loss,” he said.

This comes at the backdrop of a study conducted by McKinsey and Company in April which found that 75 percent of people feel the economy will be in a much worse condition by the end of June.

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A whopping 80 percent of the study’s respondents said household incomes had fallen, as have the rate of spending and saving at 47 and 90 percent of respondents, respectively.

Kenya has so far reported 1,888 cases of the coronavirus, including 63 fatalities.

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