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Uhuru is wrong to extend curfew

By Mohammed Hersi | June 6th 2020 at 08:45:08 GMT +0300

The continued closure of Nairobi and Mombasa counties is ill-advised and I dare say those experts are wrong.

In my earlier post this morning I talked about fear. In March when the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Kenya we were all shaken. We hardly knew much about the virus.

Three months later we know a lot and we can see data from other countries including our own.

Our experts warned us of 10,000 cases by the end of April and high death rates. We appreciate we were coming from a point of unknown. We thank God that never happened.

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Looking at the statictics here please note the same number of days with Kenya, the likes of Italy, US, UK, etc had already registered over 10,000 deaths while we were hardly at 100.

Folks, hospitals are reducing their staff because suddenly they are empty. The ones who are occupying hospital beds in public hospitals are an asymptomatic lot who should be self-isolating while observing all the guidelines to avoid spreading the virus.

The key issue that has not yet been fully appreciated by many is that getting infected is not something that people need to be terrified about as 90 per cent of those infected have no symptoms and are not unwell at all and do not even know they have it and have zero chance of dying.

The data shows that of the fatalities, 99 per cent are aged over 65 or have existing health conditions. So those are the high-risk group who could require hospitalisation and might overwhelm the health service unless they are given special protection.

That is what, as Kenyans, we should do to prevent infection for the high-risk group while low-risk groups go back to work without fear.

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Sweden adopted the mentality on immunity but failed to ask those aged over 70 years to stay home hence 96 per cent of the deaths are people aged above 60 years. The elderly were not isolated.

The experts say that the only people who are at risk are the aged and those with an underlying conditions.

Therefore, it is pointless to treat young healthy people in the same way as the elderly and vulnerable. Majority of Kenyans are below 30 years.

Norway now admits that they made a mistake in imposing a lockdown instead of shielding the vulnerable. More people are likely to die from the effects of the lockdowns than from the virus itself.

Identify and shield the vulnerable and open everything else up with restrictions against overcrowding and self-isolation for 14 days if anyone exhibits coronavirus symptoms.

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While I am not a medical or health researcher, I am afraid we are capable of interpreting data. Continued closure of Nairobi and Mombasa is Ill-advised. Council of governors with their retinue of experts should have given national government way forward in April and not try to meet in June.

I hope in the coming days this latest move should be subjected to debate. While we cannot throw caution to the wind we equally cannot pretend that economy can withstand continued closure of the capital city and the port city.


Uhuru Kenyatta Curfew
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