Government steps up fight against COVID-19 with free hand sanitizers to the public

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Kenya Pipeline Company in conjunction with several public and private sector players has released about 130,000 litres of free hand sanitizers to members of the public to counter the spread of deadly coronavirus disease in the country.

The free hand sanitizers initiative is part of the government’s effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 which has seen the number of people in Kenya who have tested positive rise to 38 by Saturday 28th March 2020 according to the Ministry of Health.

Recently President Uhuru Kenyatta, through a letter dated 18th March 2020 signed by Head of the Public Service Mr Joseph Kinyua, mandated KPC to liaise with selected oil industry players and other private sector players who expressed willingness to produce alcohol based sanitizers for free distribution to the public throughout the country as one way of preventing the spread of Covid-19.

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Addressing journalists recently, Principal Secretary for Petroleum Andrew Kamau said that the hand sanitizers whose production KPC was coordinating will be distributed for free across the country mainly targeting the informal settlements.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed us to ensure that we make available to Kenyans especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds free hand sanitizers so that as a country, we are able to fight this global pandemic more effectively,” Kamau said while thanking Vivo Energy Kenya, Total Kenya, Ola Energy, Kenol Kobil, Pwani Oil and Sepyanna Oil East Africa for providing their blending plants at no cost to package and bottle free hand sanitizers for the public. 

According to KPC Managing Director Dr Macharia Irungu, the free hand sanitizers is a classical example of what a joint public and private sector efforts can do to our country.

“In less than two weeks, KPC, oil marketing companies and other players have produced over 130,000 litres of free hand sanitizers to benefit Kenya’s most vulnerable people. This will go a long way in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” Dr Irungu observed.

“I thank East African Breweries, Bollore Logistics, and Maersk Kenya for providing their vehicles and warehouses for free to store and transport these sanitizers to all the 47 counties in Kenya. This is a selfless act to support government efforts in containing this global pandemic,” KPC boss said calling for more state and non-state actors to come in and support this initiative.

“We expect to receive over 600,000 litres of ethanol, a critical ingredient in blending of hand sanitizers, which is in KRA’s custody. Other private sector players have also promised us more free ethanol to continue producing the hand sanitizers. This means that we need more support as we fight to make Kenya coronavirus free,” Dr Irungu said reminding Kenyans that until the person next to you is protected from this deadly virus, we are all at risk as a country and therefore cannot achieve our national development goals such as the Big Four agenda. 

The sanitizers are packed in 500 millilitre bottles for household use and 20-litre containers for institutions such as health centres, police stations, market centres, and other places where Kenyans frequent for essential services. The distribution exercise will be overseen by respective county commissioners in all the 47 counties.

So far, over 93,000 litres of the free government of Kenya hand sanitizer have been released to several counties namely Nairobi, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale and Nakuru. Others include Siaya, Kajiado, Kiambu, Muranga, Makueni and Machakos.

“Our distribution model has prioritized those counties that have confirmed COVID-19 cases followed by those that are potential hotspots. But ultimately, our mapping strategy will cover all the 47 counties,” said Beatrice Orgut, KPC’s Health and Safety Manager.

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