What restricted movement means for coastal residents

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Police officers man a crowd of commuters at the Likoni crossing channel on Friday. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu

Following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s declaration of cessation of movement in Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties, nobody will be allowed to transcend the boundaries of the mentioned devolved units.

Yesterday, Regional Police Commander Rashid Yakub said he has an ample team of police officers ready to ensure the mission is accomplished as directed by the President and asked residents to co-operate.

“We don’t discuss orders. We are equal to the task because we have more than enough officers to implement the orders.

What I can tell wananchi is that they should know that this directive is for their own benefit and not for any other person… Covid-19 is real and in fact we are happy with the orders,” said Yakub.

Prof. Halimu Shauri, a lecturer of social sciences at the Pwani University says the gesture means that residents of the counties affected should prepare to sacrifice a fair share of their secondary needs for the next 21 days and “may be beyond”.

Follow instructions

Shauri says the pronouncement now means that residents in the three counties should tailor themselves to using and sourcing for just basic needs which are mainly food, medication, water and other critical necessities.

“This means that lovers of fashion and updated wardrobes will have to stay without new clothes and imported designer colognes for the next 21 days,” he said.

He was, however, quick to note that the move by the President was necessary as it goes to show that the war against Covid-19 in Kenya is being fought based on well-researched science complete with data, facts and figures.

“The fact that the President has mentioned that there is evidence of 82 per cent of the Covid-19 cases coming from Nairobi and 14 per cent from Mombasa, it is a clear indication that he has carefully listened to experts to arrive at the decisions.

It is therefore important for Kenyans now to follow the instructions properly,” he said in an interview with People Daily yesterday.

The lecturer says there is hope of neutralising the curve in the mentioned counties if residents continue practicing the old measures on top of the new ones without failing, warning that continued violation of the directives could call for stiffer measures.

Stay safe

According to the university don, the war against coronavirus is reaching peak in some countries, especially in Europe and Asia, and just beginning in Africa and the rest of the developing world.

 “The old concepts in the war include personal hygiene, washing hands, quarantine, self-quarantine, screening, testing, isolation and curfew. 

These concepts seem not to be disturbing to many people because they are common and we have had an encounter with them in the course of our lives.

Where people don’t want to change their behaviour and you use all means possible but they refuse, then they become deviants.

Most citizens in many developing countries have displayed deviant behaviour by refusing to comply with government directives to stay safe,” he says 

“As a result, some countries have implemented the climax . The climax is marked by two concepts, lockdown and shutdown,” he adds.

According to Shauri, Kenya’s healthcare system is still weak and not as robust as other advanced countries which have been hit hard by the virus such as Italy, China, Spain, Germany and the United States.

Restricted movement in the three counties, Shauri says, will now create a breather for the government in terms of response in that it will be limited to the three counties and Nairobi metropolitan.

“Kenya has little resources and by restricting movement, it means that the spread will be minimised to just within the said counties and this will make it easy to contain… with the limited resources it will be easy to deal with the four counties,” says Shauri.

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