Business unusual as firms unite against deadly coronavirus

Kilimanjaro Jamia shut its doors to the public on March 23, 2020. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG Corporates have turned to painful decisions to sacrifice profits in fight against the deadly coronavirus that has hurt business environment and thrown the country into panic.

Firms are increasingly heeding to state’s plea— to not profit from the dire situation but instead unite with citizens in fighting the health crisis that is increasingly morphing into a financial crisis.

Insurers, banks, telecommunications firms, supermarkets and firms in transport sector have led in making business decisions to support government’s efforts to combat the virus, amid fear that revenues will be hurt sparking job cuts.

However, it is also a means of self-preservation since they stand to lose a lot if customers cannot afford their services in the wake of the financial drain occasioned by the virus.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last week commended the business community for its efforts while warning rogue traders not to hike prices of goods and services for higher returns.

“Do your business .Do it right and justly. It is highly immoral if we take advantage of an unfortunate situation to make super profits,” he said.

Competition Authority of Kenya ordered Cleanshelf Supermarkets to refund customers after the retailer raised the prices of specific hand sanitizers by Sh200 as demand rose sharply on discovery of the first coronavirus case in Kenya.

Data HubPain of increasing non-compliance with court orders

Firms have since then tweaked their business models, sacrificing profits in hope that the virus will not get out of hand and force the country into total lockdown as is the case in Italy.

Many companies have opted to allow part of their staff work from home, an unpopular decision that comes with increased costs of communication and no guarantee of getting the best productivity from workers.

This is with hope that they will lower the risk of their workers fuelling the spread of the virus.“If we follow these rules, at least they can continue earning income, even though reduced, as opposed to earning nothing as is in other countries. No one is going to make the profits they made last year,” said Health Sectretary Mutahi Kagwe.Medical insurers made U-turn on footing bills for policy holders who contract the deadly corona virus, hours after the first case was reported in Kenya.By standard insurance practice, insurers do not cover diseases that are declared as pandemics because such can cause very […]

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