Kenyans should observe curfew and other regulations to break virus chain
By Adhere Cavince
Nairobi residents recently took to social media to protest the government move to erect roadblocks in an effort to enforce Covid-19 induced curfew. In their explications, the angered motorists decreed what they termed as government insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Kenyans in the backdrop of the global health crisis. Yet a nuanced reflection on the incidences indicates just how difficult it has become for Kenyans to follow the envisaged measures to stem the spread of the virus that now has much of the country worried.
Nairobi is one of the five most affected counties that, collectively accounted for 70% of the reported Covid-19 cases, at the time the curfew time was revised to 8 pm from 10 pm. The Capital city remains the most burdened with hospital beds for Covid-19 patients having run out. Like many counties that are currently grappling with the third wave, cessation of movement is one strategy being implemented.
In the past month alone, a number of countries including The UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy and India have all declared lockdowns as a measure to cut the chains of transmission of the virus, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
The vast majority of countries that have registered substantial success in managing the pandemic, have triumphed with support and commitment of citizens to observe public health protocols. Without a doubt, such measures may prove challenging to observe, particularly in low resourced settings where citizens are dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
However, a continued blanket of the pandemic upon the country will only prolong the return to normalcy and compound the economic challenge for millions of Kenyans. Some Kenyans who were caught up in the road closures argued that it is better to spend on the road with something in the pockets than be home by 8 pm without a penny. The fault of this reasoning is that it ends up exposing more people to the sting of the virus which ends up consuming not just lives but also the meager resources from a day’s work.
For the period that the curfew has been in place, the country has seen substantial reduction in the number of infections and deaths, giving hopes for the eventual reopening of the economy. Yet, with every loop of relaxation, the numbers often rise, making it hard for the government to return the country to normalcy.
The war against Covid-19 is much an individual effort as it is communal. By observing the stipulated measures, we all play a role towards defeating the virus. This is not to say that the government is exonerated from playing their requisite part.
Today, the global pandemic fight is in the vaccination phase. The Ministry of Health should find ways of procuring these essential commodities to amplify protection of the priority groups and the rest of the population. The vaccination programme should also be streamlined to foster uptake including through strategic public sensitization and increasing access points.
Finally, the enforcement agencies should continuously ensure those who fail to follow the set down guidelines are subjected to obtaining corrective measures, in the bigger interest of the nation. Covid-19 remains a serious threat that and all containment measures should be implemented towards speedy recovery.