A month later, no relief from coronavirus crisis

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 00:00 |

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Yesterday, marked 30 days since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Kenya, sending shockwaves across the socio-economic sector.

The initial measures rolled by the Health ministry were simple. They included, hand-washing and personal hygiene as well as social distancing. 

But more importantly, each one of us had responsibility in stopping the spread of the virus that has thrown the entire world into a spin. 

And as Kenyans tried to come to terms with the reality of abandoning what they have always done and how they have lived and related with and to each other, the figures kept soaring. 

This called for more stringent measures to deal with an invisible enemy. The big question has been how to survive the slow down of economic activities and resultant job losses and shut downs. 

In a nutshell, beyond the threat of the disease, the biggest anxiety has been the economy, which was already in recession and saddled by the heavy debt. 

A month later, the virus is not only devastating the economy but also turning lives upside down.

To survive this pandemic with no known cure, Kenyans must put their heads together and walk in one accord to self-preserve and ensure there is a country left after the pandemic.

This calls for a well laid out government plan with predictable and executable structures.

But above all, a responsive, responsible and focused citizenry that is ready to adhere to the guidelines to tame the spread of Covid-19. 

So far, there has been commendable adherence by the majority of Kenyans, who despite living from hand to mouth, have sacrificed and walked in solidarity to defeat the virus. 

But some Kenyans with impervious attitudes have continued with their business as usual lifestyle, thus imperilling the lives of others.

But the government should pay attention to the vulnerable through various measures, including stimulus packages and food security.

It should also seek to make basic needs such as water, power and fuel available and affordable.

Having rolled out a raft measures meant to cushion people against job losses and certainty by ordering the National Treasury to implement various reliefs to increase disposable incomes, the President should now consider expanding the safety nets such as cash transfers to the elderly and poor households, especially in the informal settlements in urban areas.

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