IMF loans Kenya Ksh78.4 billion to cushion economy as coronavirus caseload gets to 607

Dr Rashid Aman. [Photo courtesy]

Kenya can now make necessary fiscal interventions in handling coronavirus after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the disbursement of Ksh78.4 billion.

The loan is an emergency financial intervention to cushion the country against coronavirus.

“Emergency financing under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) will deliver liquidity support to help Kenya cover its balance of payments gap this year,” said IMF deputy managing director Tao Zhang in a statement Wednesday.

He added that the zero-interest funds under RCF “will provide much-needed resources for fiscal interventions to safeguard public health and support households and firms affected by the crisis.”

Under the RCF programme, the repayment of the funds has a grace period of five and a half years.

This is the second loan Kenya has taken in less than two months after the first one from World Bank in April where it took Ksh 5.3 billion to boost the production of sanitizers, protective gear for medical personnel and increasing bed capacity across the hospitals.

This new development comes as 25 more cases were recorded on Thursday bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 607.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman said that of the 25 cases, 22 are Kenyans, one Tanzania, one Ugandan and one Chinese national.

Seventeen of the 25 cases are in Nairobi – Eastleigh (9), Kawangware (2), Parklands (2), South C (1), Umoja (1) and Juja Road (1).

Kajiado has two cases, Mombasa one, Migori, Isiolo and Nakuru has one case each.

The new patients are aged between 8 – 73 years. 21 are male and 4 are female.

Sadly, three more people passed on. They are from Nairobi and Mombasa. Twenty-nine people have so far succumbed to COVID-19.

Seven more people were discharged bringing the total number of recovered patients to 197.