Let politicians take lead in Covid fight

Thursday, November 5th, 2020 00:00 |
A resident of Kawangware estate is tested during a mass testing exercise. Photo/PD/John ochieng

The country is in the eight month of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 cases have surged rapidly after the government relaxed some of the containment measures especially on social gatherings. 

Reports indicate that rural counties such as Kakamega, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Bungoma and Turkana are bearing the brunt of a second wave of the virus.

Initially, the cases were concentrated in Nairobi and Mombasa counties.

Restriction of movement in and out of the two towns helped cushion rural areas, making many residents ignore health protocols.

The result has been devastating, with many families losing loved ones, some of them top notch professionals whose contribution to society was invaluable.

In Kakamega, several deaths have been recorded, with a high-ranking county official and a politician among the latest victims. Medics have also not been spared as infections rise.

The main referral hospital in Nakuru is overwhelmed with patients, according to the county government and several offices closed to stem infections.

Most of the new cases have been attributed to public gatherings. 

It is, however, notable that national leaders who are supposed to set a good example by adhering to Ministry of Health protocols, have been leading in their violation.

Politicians have been holding huge rallies across the country with their supporters turning up without masks and violating social distancing rules.

Also, the politicians have not been wearing masks, sending the wrong message to their supporters. 

The President yesterday spelt out a raft of new measures to stem spread of the virus, including extension of the nationwide curfew and a warning to bar owners to enforce social distancing rule.

He acknowledged that politicians have been endangering lives by holding huge rallies as if the virus had been defeated. 

He banned public rallies, but appeared to create a widow for political events by allowing town hall meetings. 

He also asked businesses to ensure nobody accesses public services without wearing a mask.

While we understand the warning on political rallies, we are concerned that it came too late.

Politicians have been violating the rules with impunity. We also urge vigilance and caution on the involvement of county security enforcement teams in the battle, to ensure their participation is not misused for extortion and misplaced aggression.

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