A total of 604 firms in Kenya sent workers home due to the coronavirus fallout, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) said Monday.

Speaking to Kenya’s local daily the Nation, the FKE said at least 33 jobs were lost in every modern sector company between March and August 2020.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics estimated that around 1.7 million people have been made redundant due to the outbreak during this time, a figure FKE is terming as conservative.

Jacqueline Mugo, the FKE executive director, said the “reality is far worse than this.”

“The worst is yet to come as workers continue to grapple with the impact of the pandemic, especially the consequences of the abrupt shutting down of economic activities,” she was quoted as saying.

The East African country, according to the report, accumulated a debt of 410 billion Kenyan shillings ($3.7 billion) in the first 90 days of the outbreak.

Mugo called on the government to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ease the problem of unemployment.

The number of virus cases in Kenya, where a lockdown was imposed in May until early July, stands at 36,157, including 622 deaths and 23,067 recoveries.

A 9 p.m. to 4 a.m curfew is still in effect. Domestic and International flights resumed on Aug. 1.

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