DAILY NATION 16 MAR 20020
Kenya has started assessing the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) that is devastating cities and causing an economic meltdown across the world.
Kenya’s economy largely depends on the agricultural sector, with tea and coffee exports being the most important drivers.
The second most important engine of Kenya’s economy is the tourism, hospitality and the entire service sector, which relies on people moving and getting services in restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, among others, and a shutdown has a direct hit.
Although it is not yet clear how big the blow will be, the private sector is now coming to terms with the lockdown announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday.
The Covid-19 nightmare is threatening to cause a global recession whose impact will be felt in Kenya in weeks to come.
The biggest hit has been on aviation.
International stock markets have also experienced the most painful tumbles, with investors losing billions of shillings.
But it is not all gloom in the business world.
The virus has also come with new opportunities for players in the pharmaceutical, e-commerce and manufacturing industries.
Those in the retail sector, especially e-commerce, have already started experiencing spikes in sales, mostly occasioned by panic buying.
Mobile money transfer companies and banks are also likely to see their fortunes rise in the period.
The Nation is tracking how coronavirus is affecting various actors in the economy and here are some of our findings:
Tourism and hospitality sector
The tourism industry is taking the biggest hit given the measures already taken by the government in shutting down its borders in an attempt to lock out the virus and slow down transmission.
The virus now prom