The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has released 18 containers of ethanol as directed by the government to manufacture sanitizers to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020, there has been a looming shortage of hand sanitizers as Kenyans panic shopped.
This led to the hiking of prices hence making it hard for a common citizens to afford the item.
In a bid to chip in, the government through a memo by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, stated that they would liaise with the oil industry to distribute the sanitizers for free.
“The government is desirous of distributing affordable sanitizers to the general public. To this end, corporations in the oil industry have volunteered to produce alcohol-based sanitizers for distribution for free to the general public,” read the memo in part.
It added, “KPC will liaise with the oil industry players, who have expressed willingness to produce the sanitizers, for the expedited manufacture and distribution. Further, KPC will implement an accountability framework to ensure that the ethanol is utilized for the manufacture and distribution of the sanitizers.”
Kinyua also ordered for the release of ethanol held over offenses to help in the making of the hand sanitizers.
The recent development indicates that ethanol totaling to 396,000 litres that was being held at the port of Mombasa has been released.
The containers were released from the Port of Mombasa where the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Customs and Border Control Commissioner Kevin Safari added that supervision would be ensured in correspondence to the government directive.
“These containers are those which we had seized and which we were holding under various offences including misdeclaration, smuggling among others but instead of destroying we have decided to put it to good use,” said Safari.
The Port’s General manager also echoed the statement and acknowledged that the 18 containers were already handed over to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) for delivery.
“We have loaded the first four containers and immediately the four are delivered we will ensure that the rest of the containers are transported, the empties returned and handed over to the shipping lines,” he said.
Currently, COVID-19 cases have surged, with 8 more cases confirmed bringing the total number to 15.
In a state of the nation address on Sunday Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said all the eight are imported cases from Europe and America.
Globally, as of Sunday, March 22, 308,564 coronavirus cases had been recorded while the death toll stands at 13,069.
At least 95,829 people are reported to have recovered from the virus that broke out in the Wuhan city of China in December last year.