Yes we can reopen the economy but are we ready for the aftermath? — Dr Githinji Gitahi asks

By Vincent Kejitan | Thursday, Jun 4th 2020 at 12:01
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AMREF Health Africa CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi on Wednesday said that reopening the economy is important but the government should analyse a number of things critically.

Speaking on JKL, Dr Gitahi said that modelling should be done to project the number of cases that might be recorded in the next three months.

This, he says, should put into consideration the number of infections per day and the capacity of health facilities in the country.

“I think we must realise that the reason the infections are not as they were projected is not by chance, it is because measures in many countries were taken very early.

“As we reopen we must be ready to participate in obeying the public health measures that are going to make sure we contain the disease,” he said.

Dr Gitahi added that at the moment one patient infects around three individuals and for the country to reopen, Kenyans must take it upon themselves to flatten the curve.

“We must shield the elderly…hand hygiene is critical. The entire area of managing isolated people and those in quarantine is a weakness that the government must address.

“When we are looking at opening vs closing, we must remember that the measures we take are not to stop the virus; the measures we take are to slow the virus,” he said.

On Wednesday, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho hinted the economy might be reopened, albeit in stages.

“We are between a rock and a hard place. We have hit over 2000 positive cases…we must ask ourselves whether we will open up and lose all the gains.

“We may not expect to remove the curfew altogether…it is a discussion that is ongoing. We might revise the timelines,” he said.

The final meeting over the reopening will take place today and President Uhuru Kenyatta will address the country before the end of the week.

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