NAIROBI — Kenya will embark on mass testing of over 2000 persons, who arrived in the country since March 22, 2020, the health ministry has announced.
The campaign starting Sunday March 29, targets individual currently under mandatory quarantine in various designated hotels and Kenyan government facilities.
Kenya on Friday March 26 confirmed its first death from the coronavirus disease with cases now at 31.
The deceased was a Kenyan national who returned to the country on March 13, authorities said.
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta this week announced a 100 % tax relief for persons earning gross monthly income of up to Ksh. 24,000 (about Shs880,000) as the country seeks to protect its citizens from the effects of coronavirus.
Mr Kenyatta also announced that senior government officials such as President, Deputy President, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have offered a voluntary reduction of their salaries to free up more funds for the government.
Mr Kenyatta announced reduction of Income Tax Rate (Pay-As-You-Earn) from 30% to 25%, and Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) from 30% to 25% “in order to protect jobs for our people and to provide some certainty for both employees and their employers.”
He also announced a reduction of the turnover tax rate from the current 3% to 1% for all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The President also announced appropriation of an additional Ksh. 10 Billion to the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also ordered temporary suspension of the listing with Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) of any person, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and corporate entities whose loan account fall overdue or is in arrears, effective 1st April, 2020.
“The National Treasury shall cause immediate reduction of the VAT from 16% to 14%, effective 1st April, 2020. That all Ministries and Departments shall cause the payment of at least of Ksh. 13 Billion of the verified pending bills, within three weeks from the date hereof. Similarly, and to improve liquidity in the economy and ensure businesses remain afloat by enhancing their cash flows, the private sector is also encouraged to clear all outstanding payments among themselves; within three weeks from the date hereof,” he said.
Mr Kenyatta directed the Kenya Revenue Authority to expedite the payment of all verified VAT refund claims amounting to Ksh. 10 Billion within 3 weeks; or in the alternative, allow for offsetting of Withholding VAT, in order to improve cash flows for businesses.
He also directed that Ksh. 1.0 billion from the Universal Health Coverage kitty, be immediately appropriated strictly towards the recruitment of additional health workers to support in the management of the spread of COVID-19.