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Kenya is not adequately prepared to tackle Covid-19

By Faith Lawino | March 23rd 2020

A Nairobi County health worker fumigates Machakos bus station, Nairobi. Kenya is taking more preventive measures in the fight against the coronavirus. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The magnitude of the spread of coronavirus can be compared to the Spanish Flu in 1918, which is believed to have been the deadliest pandemic in human history.

It killed at least 50 million people worldwide. The United States alone recorded more than 500,000 deaths.

Covid-19, when it first struck, seemed like a story. Most governments, like Italy, thought they were well prepared to deal with the pandemic.

Kenya is one of the countries that underestimated the impact of coronavirus.

Just like Covid-19, the Spanish Flu began in one country, but soon its effects were felt globally.

Coronavirus originated in Northern China, but now a country like Italy is under quarantine.

Strangely, since the virus was discovered in December, it was business as usual at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, until one man alerted the world of a plane with up to 239 passengers from China, where the pandemic was causing deaths of hundreds at the time.

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Planes from Europe continued to land in Kenya. Since then, confirmed coronavirus cases in the country have shot up.

The government has suspended activities in all learning institutions and set aside space for the isolation of suspected cases, but many Kenyans do not feel safe.

May God help Kenya not to record more infections. The inadequate beds in the hospitals, even before Covid-19 knocked, is a pointer that we are not well prepared.

Further, only Nairobi seems to have amenities to handle infections. We are yet to think of other towns that are major entry points such as Mombasa, Malaba or even Busia.

Nevertheless, all counties have been asked to set up isolation wards. Still, county governments cannot fight the pandemic owing to the resources needed.

Countries like Rwanda have set up in the capital Kigali tap water in various spots where the public is being advised to wash hands before boarding vehicles.

All these are geared towards prevention of the spread of the disease. Sadly, Kenya has done less on training county personnel on how to tackle the Covid-19 threat.

We also know test kits or protective gears for medics have been an issue. Plans have also not been made to sensitise the public on how to prevent coronavirus.

People only get information on social media from quacks who might spread rumours. It is not, however, late.

The government should seriously think of the impact of Covid-19.

The public should be sensitized. Vehicles should be provided with hand sanitizers and hand washing must be promoted in public places. We need to do a lot to combat this pandemic.  

Faith Lawino, Kisumu.

Covid 19 Time Series


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