Bar & Club Owners Want Gov’t To Use Their Premises As COVID Vaccination Centres

Bar & Club Owners Want Gov’t To Use Their Premises As COVID Vaccination Centres

Bar and restaurant operators are now offering to have the government use their establishments as COVID-19 vaccination centres.

In a press briefing on Friday, Bars, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) noted that their premises, just like churches, are gathering points that the Ministry of Health could leverage on to maximize vaccination.

“We encourage the Ministry of Health to partner with bars and restaurants and consider using these establishments as vaccination centres from time to time,” they said.

“Bars are gathering points for people and like churches, can become one of the places where people can be sure to access vaccines regularly. We therefore extend an invitation to the Ministry of Health to collaborate with our members, especially the large establishments to provide vaccines to more Kenyans.”

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutai Kagwe on Thursday said the government targets to have enough doses in the country to hit the 10 million mark of vaccinated citizens come December 2021.

As of October 20, 2021, a total of 4,733,770 vaccines had so far been administered across the country.

The operators pledged to abide by the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of COVID-19 even as they welcomed the move by President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the curfew.

Frank Mbogo, the chairman of the Nairobi branch of the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya, noted that about 15,000 bars were closed and 90,000 jobs lost due to the closure occasioned by the pandemic.

“We’d like to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for hearing the cries of Kenyans and lifting the curfew… We hope that with time, the 15,000 bars that were forced to shut down will revive or come back in another form and the sector will thrive enough to get the more than 90,000 people who lost jobs back at work,” said Mr. Mbogo.

He estimated that the combined loss of revenue, jobs and livelihoods in the sector during the pandemic amounts to more than KSh.150 billion.

 

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