Reopening was not a bad idea but we might 'lock down' again — Dr Githinji Gitahi

By Vincent Kejitan | Thursday, Jul 9th 2020 at 13:14
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AMREF Health Africa CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi on Wednesday stated that reopening the economy was not a mistake but Kenyans should still be aware that Coronavirus is still around.

Speaking during an interview on a local TV station, Dr Gitahi expressed concern that the country might go back to lockdown if the situation gets out of hand.

“Restrictions were good for Kenya. A lockdown is to ensure that interactions are reduced thus chances of infecting more people is reduced…Re-opening is not a mistake.

“When we open up, we must be aware that the coronavirus is still around and we may lockdown again,” he said.

Asked why Europe recorded more deaths than Africa, Dr Gitahi opined that the risk factors in Africa are different from those in Europe.

“In Africa, movement of coronavirus may take time as people are not moving rapidly compared to Europe.

“Those susceptible by age are fewer in Africa…The risk factors in Africa are different from those in Europe,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday lifted cessation of movement in the country but maintained the 9pm to 4am nationwide curfew

Addressing the nation from Harambee House, the President said Kenya was not out of the danger yet but the path to reopening the economy would be a gradual one.

He cited a lack of adequate preparation but said that the country had to start the journey to normalcy regardless of the challenges.

He said: “We have not yet met the irreducible minimums 100 percent. However, we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across our counties…I, therefore, announce a phased reopening of the country...”

He lifted the orders on cessation of movement in Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties but warned against laxity in the observance of the safety rules.

“Order to reopen is given conditionally if the situation deteriorates, we’ll revert to lockdown..,” he said.

 “We must be cognizant of the fact that we are far much more at risk than when the restrictions were in place.”

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