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Sunday, 04 October 2020 11:51

National COVID-19 conference

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“The primary purpose here is to look at lessons learnt as well as best practices but fundamentally ask ourselves whether we organized our resources in the most optimal way and whether we have mechanisms of ploughing back lessons learnt for future undertakings,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta today as he opened the 12th National Covid-19 Conference at the Kenyatta Intercontinental Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.
The conference was attended by County Governors led by the CoG Chairman H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya, Cabinet Secretaries, Senior government officials as well as stakeholders, in an aim to take stock of the government’s response to the COVID19 pandemic and advise on new measures.
In his remarks, the Head of State urged all participants to take stock of all the measures taken since March when the first case was confirmed in the country, so as to determine the way forward.
“For the last six months, the country has been in a ‘Season of Paradox’. Since March this year, when we recorded the first COVID-19 case, it became necessary to shut down the economy in order to save it. We had to avoid our loved ones, especially the elderly, because we care for their health and cherish their wisdom. And, it became necessary to withdraw our children from schools in order to secure their future. All this, was a paradox – a conflict between the ‘new normal’; and what we think the ‘normal’ should be’, said President Kenyatta
Uhuru called upon on all Kenyans to be realistic and to keenly evaluate the measures put in place by the government and see if they are effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19
“Today, however, we face an even greater paradox. As we flatten the Corona Curve, it may appear like victory, is on sight. Yes, the COVID positivity rate has fallen from 13% in June, 7% in August and is now at 4.4% in September. With these figures, we can be tempted to celebrate, more so because we are now below the 5% positivity rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for re-opening” said President Kenyatta.
Speaking on behalf of the County Governments, CoG Chairman H.E Wycliffe Oparanya lauded the partnership between the National government and the Counties in terms of fighting the pandemic despite the challenges between the two.
“Over the last six (6) months, County Governments in tackling the prevention, control and management of the pandemic have learnt a number of lessons from what worked and what did not work and the challenges that still confront us. One key lesson is that in times of crisis you have no choice but to stick together. The pandemic brought the two levels of government closer and this should be the way to relate always”, said Oparanya.
In regards to a recovery plan, Governor Oparanya stated that the County Governments had developed the County COVID-19 Socio-economic Re-engineering Recovery Strategy which would be subsequently be rolled out to Counties for implementation upon its launch. The Council of Governors would be tasked to ensure that this Recovery Plan is mainstreamed into the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs).
“This document should help assist Counties to reengineer government processes in the face of the COVID challenges and begin to address the socio-economic gaps and challenges that have emerged. Indeed, it will be an integral document as County Governments embark on preparation of Annual Development plans and County Budgets for the Financial Year 2021/22” , he concluded.
The National COVID 19 Conference follows immediately after the County Governments COVID 19 virtual conference that was held on 31st August 2020 under the theme County Governments resilience in the COVID19 era: Reflecting on the past and building sustainability for the future.


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