It will take sacrifices by all to beat Coronavirus scourge

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 00:00 |
A passenger sanitizes his hands before departure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

What most feared most came to pass—the partial lockdown of Nairobi metropolis and three coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi, which have emerged as epicentres of coronavirus. 

The declaration by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his address to the nation yesterday comes against an upward trajectory in infections whose total hit 158 with the confirmation of 16 more cases yesterday. 

He also confirmed six people have succumbed to the virus while four have recovered. 

The 21-day cessation of movement by air, road and rail in and out of the epicentres—Nairobi metropolis, which accounts for 82 per cent of reported cases, as well as Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi (accounting for 14 per cent)—shows that these are unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures to tame the disease. 

The measures, though inconveniencing and disruptive, are necessary to save the country from the Covid-19. The other requirement is wearing of face masks in public places to limit infection.

As the President pointed out, the virus is unforgiving and its spread must be arrested before it overwhelms the healthcare system and cause huge fatalities.

Though the government has put in place measures—dusk to dawn curfew, washing of hands, use of sanitiser, social distancing and protection of vulnerable populations—there has not been 100 per cent compliance. For some Kenyans, either of out impunity or ignorance, it has been business as usual.

It’s such people who imperil the lives of innocent others and undermine efforts by the government and other stakeholders to stem the spread of the disease.  

We cannot overemphasise the importance of unity of purpose in confronting the enemy that has tossed humanity into a spin that will take years to recover from.

 As the President said; “We are in a war, we must stand together to win it”. This is only possible if all Kenyans stand side by side to face the enemy.

 It is a time to show compassion and care for the vulnerable, especially by employers and landlords.

Already, there are heart-warming reports of people reaching out to those in distress. This is a Kenyan attribute, which if embraced by all, will see us through this challenging period.

How we navigate our way to conquer the virus will depend on personal commitment and discipline. We are confident, together we will overcome coronavirus. 

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