Survey links surge in Covid numbers to disregard of safety protocols

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
TIFA’s Chief Executive Officer Maggie Ireri.

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

A newly-released report has attributed the upsurge of coronavirus cases in the country to failure by Kenyans—particularly those living in informal areas—to comply with the safety protocols.

The Round Three Survey Report by TIFA research showed that 57 per cent of respondents do not believe that Covid-19 actually exists, while 21 per cent said they no longer fear the virus.

And, in spite of heightened public awareness campaign, the report says that 17 per cent of the respondents were unable to mention any of the preventive measures put in place to combat the virus.

Of the other 73 per cent who could name at least one such measure, 42 per cent mentioned mask wearing in public places as the one they consider most effective while keeping social distance was second in terms of mentions.

Upward trajectory

The survey conducted in Huruma, Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Kawangware between September 24 and October 2, coincided with a period in which the number of daily positive cases started taking an upward trajectory.

“Indeed, the last few days have seen the highest number of both positive cases and fatalities since the arrival of the pandemic in March,” the report released by TIFA’s Chief Executive Officer Maggie Ireri says.

“As such, most of the results presented capture a situation that upon close examination, appears to help explain why this upsurge occurred,” it says, adding that ill-discipline was a major hindrance in the fight against the disease.

“It remains to be seen, therefore, what the government may have to do in order to contain the current situation and how citizens—including these residents of Nairobi’s low-income neighbourhoods—will respond,” it stated.

The report further indicates that there has been a major decline in the number of people wearing masks in the last few months before the current spike was witnessed. 

“The number of those reporting complete compliance has declined by almost half (from 58 per cent to 35 per cent),” the report adds.

Conversely, the proportion reporting no compliance at all has risen sharply . The report attributed this to a waning fear of the disease, a drop in confidence in the efficacy of the masks or decline in expectations.

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