LESSONS FROM ITALY; CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IN KENYA
If you are in Kenya and still think that the Corona Virus Pandemic is a Joke then don’t. As you all know Kenya reported its first case of the Virus on 12th March 2020.The situation is rapidly escalating as of yesterday, two more cases were confirmed. The president in his address to the Nation directed that the following measures be put in place in a bid to curb further spread of the virus:
Suspension of travel for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported coronavirus cases; only Kenyan citizens and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come into the country provided they proceed to self-quarantine or to a government designated facility.( this directive to remain in place for the next thirty (30) day).
- In order to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money, Kenyans are encouraged to embrace the use of cashless transactions such as mobile money and credit cards.
- Avoid crowded places, Kenyans were encouraged to minimise attendance to social gatherings, avoid congregating including in places of worship, minimise congestion in public.
- All persons who have travelled into the country for the last 14 days must self-quarantine.
- Suspension of learning in all Schools with immediate effect.
- Government offices, businesses and private Companies encouraged to allow employees to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services
- Hospitals and shopping Malls are encouraged to provide Soap, Water and hand saniters and regularly clean and disinfect their premises.
Honestly this epidemic is petrifying but what scares me the most is the manner in which people in the country are behaving. One would expect that with such increasedsensitization efforts by the government particularly the ministry of health and media outlets people would exercise caution, unfortunately a huge number of the citizenry arebehaving as if they can’t contract the virus; people are still shaking hands, attending church, going to festivals, parties, night clubs/bars, hanging out with friends and acting as if this isn’t a big deal (fake news), wake up people!
Merely out of curiosity, I closely followed reports of the covid-19 outbreak from the epicentre Wuhan China and was astounded by the rate at which the virus spread to the rest of world. Initially when the first case was reported in China the rest of the world wasn’t concerned, I for one felt that there was nothing to worry about besides Wuhan was millions of miles away and I am not 65+ years old, I wondered why people were overreacting it’s just a bad cold that’s killing people with weakened immune systems.
However, I was awakened from this slumber when the virushit Italy, at first the people ignored government directives and continued living their lives normally; hanging out with friends, going to restaurants etc. within a period of threeweeks the number of confirmed cases significantly rose by march 7th close to four regions where there were majority of confirmed cases were declared red zones and people quarantined sadly schools, work places, restaurants and bars continued operating normally. People from the red zones escaped back to their families in other parts of Italy, as of 16thmarch Italy was ranked the world’s centre of active coronavirus cases eleven municipalities in northern Italy were placed under quarantine. As of yesterday Italy had over 27,000 cases of confirmed cases with over 2,000 deaths and close to 2,700 recoveries with the whole country now under quarantine.
In Kenya currently seventeen people are under quarantine three of whom are confirmed cases of covid-19. These statistics don’t seem to concern the pubic yet, majority of people I have interacted with still feel that the government is overreacting, in fact some have expressed the view that its fake news, a ploy by the government to digress from the real issues affecting the people and a brazen attempt to cool off temperatures on the BBI debate. Business people have deviously devised means to make more profit by over pricing hand saniters, masks and sadistically advertising for sell fake coronavirus testing kits. The lacklustre manner in whichKenyans are responding to this pandemic is even evident in some county governments with only 25 out of 47 counties setting aside quarantine wards for possible coronavirus cases, while the rest are still waiting for the situation to get serious.The countries nurses’ complaints of lack of training and equipment to deal with the virus continue to fall on deaf ears. This therefore means a serious outbreak in Kenya would be astronomical.
The manner in which people in the country are trivializing thecovid-19 pandemic is alarming, if we don’t take this pandemic seriously and contain it before it wipes us all out then we will have ourselves to blame. Remember as of today there is no vaccine for covid-19, so let’s Sensitize, Sanitize and Stay Safe.