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Government turns to technology to tackle Covid-19 disease

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ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru

The government has deployed widespread use of technology to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. 

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ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has told the Senate Ad-Hoc committee on Covid-19 that the measures include use of contact tracing applications, up-scaling cashless transactions as well as launching internet balloons to improve internet connection in remote areas of the country.

The coronavirus pandemic had continued to shutter the global economy and governments have imposed sweeping measures such as, curfews, prohibition of mass gatherings, mandatory quarantines, closure of learning institutions as well as discouraging cash transactions. 

Some of these measures have boosted the use of digital technologies. 

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In Kenya where mobile money reaches more than 90 percent, cashless transactions have become the norm. 

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The government through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has also rolled out online classes for students. 

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru tells the senate ad-hoc committee on Covid-19 that the government plans to roll-out the telemedicine infrastructure to all major public hospitals.

CS Mucheru has further told the committee that the government has released 13 billion shillings to be used to settle pending bills to suppliers. 

During the virtual meeting, Broadcasting Principal Secretary Esther Koimett also told the committee that a turn-around white paper for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has already been finalized and ready for presentation to the National Treasury.

The virtual meeting brought together players from the ICT industry such as courier service providers, broadcasters, performing artists among others. 

An ICT advisory committee has already been formed by the Communications Authority to advise the government on how to upscale ICT services to deal with the pandemic.

The committee chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja urged all stakeholders to improve surveillance to protect the public from online fraudsters. 

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