Coronavirus: Kenyans unable to keep their distance

The majority of Kenyans are violating the social distancing rule thus undermining efforts to contain the coronavirus disease.

A study by Trends and Insights for Africa (Tifa) found that only three per cent of Kenyans are avoiding crowds and public gatherings in the wake of the global pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide.

The research that sampled views from 1,000 Kenyans across the country paints a grim picture of a nation that appears to disregard perhaps the most viable preventive measure that has been adopted in other countries.

SEE ALSO :China virus cases spike, 17 new infections reported

The study also recommends interventions for the implementation of social distancing.

Medical workers have in recent days embarked on a global campaign to sensitise the public on the need for social distancing. Through the rallying call "We came to work for you. Please stay home for us", the medics continue to urge people to reduce social contact by staying home.

But all is not gloom. According to the study, more than 70 per cent of the respondents reported to have been washing their hands with soap and water as a preventive measure.

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About 40 per cent were using hand sanitisers while 25 per cent reported that they avoided handshakes and kept a respectable distance from persons with flu-like symptoms.

Nationwide lockdown

SEE ALSO :China confirms virus spreading between humans

Several countries have instituted nationwide lockdowns as a way of taming the spread of the deadly disease.

Rwanda and South Africa have already enforced lockdowns, following in the tracks of Italy, the worst-hit nation with more than 6,000 reported dead from the virus, and China, where the virus originated.

The strict measure appears to have worked in China, which has in the past week recorded a slump in the number of new infections.

The number of confirmed infections in Kenya stood at 25 by yesterday, but careless behaviour could see the numbers shoot through the roof.

Random spot checks by The Standard reveal that wananchi continue to ignore warnings against public gatherings.

SEE ALSO :Factbox: What we know about the new coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

On Sunday, some churches were criticised for choosing to stay open and putting the lives of faithful at risk.

The action prompted the government to expressly prohibit all religious services. Scenes of packed trains, with some commuters recklessly dangling outside, dominated social media on Monday.

Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

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CoronavirusCoronavirus OutbreakSocial Distancing