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Kenya's COVID-19 curve has been flattening in recent weeks. /CFM-FILE.

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IMF approves Sh78.3 bn for Kenya to address COVID-19 pandemic

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a Sh78.3billion disbursement to Kenya to address the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The money will be drawn from the Rapid Credit Facility to support Kenya, at a time the virus figures are climbing on an average of 40 cases a day to 582 by Wednesday.

“The IMF has approved the disbursement of $739 million to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility to support the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” IMF said in a statement.

It pointed out that while the government has taken decisive action to respond to the pandemic’s health and economic impacts, the sudden shock has left Kenya with significant fiscal and external financing needs.

“Emergency financing under the RCF will deliver liquidity support to help Kenya cover its balance of payments gap this year. It will provide much-needed resources for fiscal interventions to safeguard public health and support households and firms affected by the crisis. It will also catalyze necessary financing from other donors,” it added.

To ensure that the funds are utilized for the purpose they are meant for, IMF said it will conduct independent post-crisis auditing of COVID-19 related expenditures and publish the results.

COVID-19 cases in Kenya rose to 582 Wednesday, prompting the government to declare a lock-down in Nairobi’s Eastleigh and Old Town region in Mombasa.

“I warned you that cases are increasing and you can see we have more infections,” said Mutahi Kagwe, Health Cabinet Secretary.

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Of the new infections, 32 were from Mombasa, 11 in Nairobi, two cases in Busia and one each in Kiambu and Kwale counties.

The increased cases are attributed to the ongoing mass testing across the country and are expected to increase further according to CS Kagwe, with focus on Eastleigh in Nairobi and Old Town in Mombasa- where a cessation of movement was declared for the next 15 days.

“The situation in those areas has become of serious concern to us,” the CS said.

The number of recoveries in the country also rose by eight bringing the total number to 190 with fatality figures jumping to 26, after two people in Mombasa succumbed to the virus at their homes.

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