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Draconian measures employed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic pushed up the cost of living in April.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) figures released yesterday, prices of major consumer products in the economy increased by 5.62 per cent last month compared to a revision of 5.51 per cent in March.

This is after stringent social distancing measures, a dusk-to-dawn curfew and travel restrictions depressed supply of certain goods. What would otherwise have been an inflationary spike was saved by low prices of fuel and heavy rains across the country, which helped push down the prices.

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Kenyans paid more for food during this period compared to March as supply of critical foodstuffs was hampered by the partial lockdown as well as travel restrictions that have stopped the movement of these items within and into the country.

“Food and non-alcoholic drinks’ index increased by 1.77 per cent between March 2020 and April 2020, while the year on year food inflation in April, 2020 stood at 11.58 per cent,” said KNBS.

Some of the products that registered an increased in price per unit include maize-grain, sukuma wiki (kales), onions, Irish potatoes and carrots.

Year-on-year, a kilo of onions, most of which is imported from Tanzania, increased by 24.18 per cent to retail at Sh118.2 from Sh95.18 in the same month last in 2019.

Matatu fares within Nairobi increased by 66.67 per cent, year-on-year, with commuters paying Sh50 compared to Sh30 in April last year.

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