As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is becoming more apparent that the success of containing the spread of the virus will mainly be determined by our collective approach as citizens.
With global confirmed infections reaching over 1.1 million across the world with cumulative deaths of 61,000 as of April 4, 2020, it is more evident that all countries around the globe are struggling with the most urgent issue; slowing new infections to “flatten” the curve.
Back at home, since the first case was announced on March 13, 2020, Kenya’s level of infection has risen to 158 according to the Ministry of Health statistics as of Monday this week.
Kenya currently ranks at position 11 among African countries with the Covid-19 infections out of the cases reported across the continent. World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that 43 African nations are currently affected by the pandemic. This number is increasing by the day.
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It is now upon us to internally develop and modify strategies and intervention measures that we will use as a country to fight this pandemic, both in the short and long term.
We are conscious of the fact that many countries are now designing elaborate response strategies to ensure that the crisis does not evolve into economic disruption.
To this extent, we are happy that our government, through President Uhuru Kenyatta, has announced a raft of policy measures, behavioural protocols and economic reliefs aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19.
Additionally, the president has established the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide for a framework to mobilise resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effect and impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
This fund is meant to support the implementation of targeted State interventions to cushion every Kenyan from shocks arising from Covid-19.
While the primary sources of funds will be from monies appropriated by the National Assembly and voluntary contributions from public officers and private persons, more than ever, we need the support of Kenyans of goodwill to come together and be counted.
Making a contribution will prove that there is much more that brings us together as a country than that which separates us.
The implementation of this fund will go a long way in ensuring that the government continues to guarantee all Kenyans, most importantly the most vulnerable in our society, the opportunity to continue enjoying their social, civil and economic rights.
We are, therefore, appealing to the private sector through its different segments, media houses, artistes, athletes, foundations and all citizens of goodwill to come on board and help fight this pandemic.
Additionally, considering that county governments play a crucial role in public health, they should readily make available the emergency funds that they have established to enhance readiness and quick intervention from their end.
Although mobilisation of funds is key to mitigating the pandemic, our primary personal responsibility is to ensure that we adhere to the government decrees as issued.
By doing this, we shall be able to collectively stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
These include directives on maintaining social distancing through minimising congestion in public transport, shopping malls, entertainment joints and social gatherings as well as self-quarantine.
If we do that, we shall be able to collectively stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
Fellow citizens, as pronounced by John F Kennedy, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” I urge all of us to come together and help the government fight this pandemic.
Jane Karuku is the chairperson of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. [email protected]