The Government of Kenya has now recognised tobacco and alcohol as part of the essentials during the partial lockdown period due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The CS for Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Ms Betty Maina formed a Business Emergency Response Centre (BERC) that identified the products.
“The Committee identified the manufacturers, producers and suppliers of the under listed as essential to the sustenance of lives and efforts must be taken to keep them operational throughout the crisis period,” read a notice from the ministry.
The full list of foods and beverages includes cereals, sugar, wheat products (bread, confectioneries and breakfast cereals), sugar Confectionaries, dairy products, processed foods, meat and meat products, fish, edible oils, salt and cooking spices, fruits, vegetables and nuts, water, juices and non and/or carbonated drinks/diluting drinks, tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol beverages.
The workers of the identified sectors will be granted special permits to keep working and distributing the foods during the pandemic.
Textiles and Apparels like face masks, medical uniforms, medical equipment and essential supplies like oxygen, pharmaceuticals and medicament were also identified as essentials, away from foods and beverages.
In addition, essential footwear like gumboots used in medical facilities, shoe covers, animal health medicaments, soap, detergents and washing materials, hygiene and personal care products like toilet tissues, serviettes, sanitary pads and diapers are also listed.
Agro-chemicals and pest control products like mosquito nets, farm inputs, insecticides, animal feeds, petroleum fuels, cooking fuels, including wood fuels and matches, motor vehicle parts, motorcycle and parts
Plastic and rubber used for packaging such as bags, water bottles, plastic tanks, cling film, goggles, face shields, gloves, disposable gowns/overall were also listed.