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Boost counties’ virus war

Sunday June 28 2020

After nearly four months of a clampdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many Kenyans are praying for the lifting of the strict regulations to restore their normal lives.

However, this is not possible, as the Covid-19 infections are increasing day after day, with the number of deaths now at 137. Out of the nearly 158,000 people that have been tested, some 5,500 have tested positive. The recoveries are at nearly 1,900.

With the unrelenting upward trajectory, the country must tread carefully, hence the reluctance by the authorities to throw caution to the wind. Relaxation of safety measures could result in a spike in infections that could easily overwhelm the healthcare system.

CESSATION OF MOVEMENT

Health experts have warned that lifting the cessation of movement into and out of the hotspot counties could spell doom for the country.

Whether to reopen the country or not is an issue that President Uhuru Kenyatta and the top government health experts continue to grapple with. An indication of what awaits the country are the rapidly increasing infections in the countryside. Many originate from the locked-down counties, especially Nairobi and Mombasa.

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The President has said he would like to see the restrictions lifted, but cannot disregard professional advice. The scourge has ravaged the economy. However, we cannot go on like this.

300 ISOLATION BEDS

A meeting the President held with governors has given some hope about the possibility of reopening the country.

 He has declared that this will largely depend on the preparedness of the counties to curb the spread of the deadly virus, hence the directive that each should have at least 300 isolation beds.

Sadly, only 10 counties are on target with 300 or more beds. Kirinyaga and Siaya have only 14 and 19 beds, respectively. A lot of work still needs to be done before the restrictions can be lifted.

A good start would be boosting the capacity of the counties to handle the pandemic.

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