Spare us politics, focus on coronavirus pandemic

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe (right) with acting Director Ministry of Health Patrick Amoth during a press briefing on Covid-19 at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Besides being industrious, generous and go-getters, Kenyans shoulder the burden of peculiar habits—even absurdities.

It is at such a time of the coronavirus pandemic that the virtues and vices have found expression, either as refreshing welcome or worrying concern.

The country, and indeed the whole world, is now focussed on taming the disease that has not only visited death, misery and socio-economic calamities, but also changed our way of life.

To survive the pandemic, which had by Tuesday claimed close 200,000 lives across the globe and infected an estimated 1.9 million, calls for discipline and singular focus in adhering to basic guidelines such as washing hands, social distancing and wearing face masks. 

Though the figures in Kenya—208 cases and nine deaths—have not been at the levels witnessed in Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and United States, which have recorded the highest infections and fatalities, we cannot afford to keep our eyes off the ball and become reckless. 

It is worrying that we have passed the 200 mark in infections, despite stringent measures, including the dusk to dawn curfew, partial lockdown of Nairobi, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties, which account for the bulk of cases. 

As a country we are at great risk. The thought that it could escalate is unnerving because of our weak health care system and vulnerable economy.

Already, the few cases reported are testing our capacity to deal with the virus.

Unfortunately, the potential for a calamity of unprecedented potential has not sunk for the political elite and some pretenders to the middle-class status. For them it is business as usual—politicking and merrymaking. 

We appeal to those who are deluding themselves that they are immune to this virus not to behave in a manner that would imperil the lives of others. 

To the politicians, spare us the theatrics and let the country focus all its energies and resources on building capacity to ward off the ominous coronavirus cloud that not only hangs over our heads, but is slowly and surely closing in on us. 

Like the Good Book says, there is time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun. This is a time and season for Corona, not puerile politics.

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