Care-free attitude is hurting Corona fight

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a past event

There is mounting pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to re-open the economy on Monday at the end of the extended 30 days of curfew occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

Kenya has been on a partial lockdown since March 26, days after the first Covid-19 case was detected in the country on March 12.

In the three months that have passed, the economy has been in dire straits, leading to unprecedented mass layoffs of employees in the private and painful salary cuts by various employers.

Generally, life has become hard for Kenyans, which is why majority of citizens are demanding immediate re-opening of the economy.

However, this is happening at a time when the number of infections is soaring, with the country recording its highest positive cases in a single day yesterday (307), to bring the overall tally to 6, 673.

Kenyans must, therefore, understand that re-opening the economy may come with serious ramifications as far as the virus is concerned.

And they should be prepared for any eventuality, if experiences elsewhere in the world are anything to go by.

Removing the current restrictions requires a sound and pragmatic approach because it will involve lifting the ban on cessation of movement between the city and upcountry, resumption of local and international flights, possible reopening of learning institutions, and resumption of religious activities, not to mention allowing full operation of hotels and entertainment places.

 That is a tall order. It will certainly be an agonising decision for Uhuru to make when he finally pronounces himself on the matter.

His decision, as he himself has repeatedly said, will be based on the best counsel from his team of experts and must be in the best interest of the people of Kenya.

As we await the big decision, the greatest threat to re-opening the economy is the carefree attitude by a large section of Kenyans, who already behave as if the coronavirus is behind us.

From matatu and boda boda operators who somehow forgot hand sanitising and social distancing to bar owners who seem to be trying hard to recover lost business by operating beyond hours to establishments that have abandoned providing water and soap to visitors, we must be prepared for consequences of our actions.

It will be sad for Uhuru to remove the restrictions only to re-impose them within a short time because of our care-free attitude.

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