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Panic response will not cure global, national challenges

LETTERS
By Samson Misango | February 8th 2020

Salvadoran citizen is being examined at the Salvador International Airport before moving to quarantine upon arrival from China due to the global coronavirus situation, in San Salvador, El Salvador, February 3, 2020. [Reuters]

China has an estimated population of 1.4 billion. The coronavirus outbreak has affected 17,000 Chinese that is 0.001 per cent of the population, with more than 400 deaths reported so far, which is 2 per cent of the affected population.

The virus affects elderly people and those with other debilitating illnesses, just like the flu virus.

The response by China to the virus “outbreak:” Quarantine of the epicentre of outbreak, mobilisation of an autocratic regime to build 1,000 bed capacity hospitals in one week to admit confirmed cases. 

Response by the world. Exaggerated panic. To identify and contain an “epidemic” that has affected 0.001 per cent of a population and with a mortality of 2 per cent of those affected.

Ninety eight per cent of the people infected with this cold virus recover and continue with their life.

The flu virus affects and kills more people than the corona virus, but both affect especially the elderly population who are already sick.

The panic response by the world also infected Kenya.

A third world country with meagre medical resources being mobilised to identify affected people and then do nothing.

The infection is viral and has no cure. Just like most viral infections. The West coughed, and we started sneezing.

Compare this with pneumonia. Pneumonia affects 700,000 children in Kenya each year, that is 3 per cent of these under 5 year children in Kenya.

A total of 11,000 of these children in Kenya die from the infection every year, making this the number one killer of children in our country.

Pneumonia in children requires treatment in hospitals. Available hospitals where the affected can access and afford. If you believe this is adequately provided by private hospitals, you are a misguided citizen, who believe the BBI will eradicate pneumonia.

But let’s get even closer now. In the Kakamega Primary School tragedy, 14 children died in a stampede and 40 others were injured.

This is a public school, under staffed, underfunded, overcrowded and neglected by the system until it shows itself up in this ugly manner.

Still, we will wait for the next BBI rally and loudly talk about how we are bringing the country together. As we drive political agenda. Spending billions (that we don’t have for important projects) that become readily available to drive a political agenda and have a referendum that creates positions for some entitled people.

Democracy and capitalism is sweet for the elite and entitled few but overrated....and a punishment to the majority.

Do not ever blame the poor public in a democracy for getting the leaders they deserve because they vote...blame the selfish middle class who stopped caring and therefore stopped acting.   

Dr Samson Misango, Nairobi

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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