Crucial Kenya-US trade talks halted over virus alarm

Niwandinda Daniel
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Government Spokesman Col Cyrus Oguna (far right) with Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman (centre) and acting Director of Public Health Dr Francis Kuria during a briefing on coronavirus infections in the country on July 5 2020

Talks on a Kenya-US trade deal have been put on hold due to concerns that members of Kenya’s negotiating team were exposed to the coronavirus, a US-based news organisation said on Wednesday.

The Politico, a reputable web publication, attributed its report to “three people close to the talks”.

An unspecified number of Kenyan negotiators were tested on Tuesday after being exposed to the virus at an office in Nairobi where technical teams had gathered, Politico said.

Test results are expected in the coming days, the news site added. It said the bilateral trade talks are primed to resume “as soon as possible.”

“The potential spread among the team would be more disruptive than taking this precaution,” Politico reported a Kenyan source close to the talks as having said.

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