President Uhuru Kenyatta went against popular sentiment by extending the dawn-to-dusk curfew by 30 days, a measure meant to curb the spread of coronavirus. The president was aware of Kenyans’ agitation for easing of the containment measures, but chose to listen to experts and decided not to throw caution to the wind. Stung by rising infections and an ailing economy, he had to walk a tightrope to protect lives.
The changing of curfew hours from 9pm to 4am means businesses will get more time to operate in an attempt to recover lost revenues. The president assured Kenyans that the government is determined to protect them from the disease and its attendant economic effects. He reiterated the need to follow Ministry of Health regulations, guidelines and protocols to keep the disease at bay.
It is important to note that careless movements, especially from the hotspots to rural areas, could be suicidal. The containment measures will help stop taking the virus to the most vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly in the villages.
County governors have been complaining of a shortage of ICU beds, personal protective equipment and health personnel to handle the surge in Covid-19 cases. This is a situation we must avoid at all costs.
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That said, the ministry should step up testing capacity. Containment measures cannot be in place for years. There must be a way out of the pandemic, which health experts and social scientists must be working hard to find. Still, this will be a marathon and not a magical sprint to the finish.