What you need to know:
- The government encouraged Kenyans to follow the Covid-19 prevention measures when they are in public.
Even though we have registered an increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Kenya over the past few days, the government has been in control of the situation.
Some people have linked the recent increase in virus cases to the opening up of the country.
The epidemiology of pandemics is a complex issue. Nevertheless, the government has made important preparatory steps to ensure that Kenyans remain safe.
As we have seen from some of our partners abroad, opening up the economy is a delicate balance. Easing some restrictions is a necessary measure to begin to revive our economy and assist Kenyans who have suffered economically during the lockdown.
As many sectors of our economy were forced to shut down, many of our brothers and sisters were unable to provide for their families. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to lift travel bans and open up the country was necessary.
The President did not ease the restrictions without ensuring that the safety protocols were put in place. The government encouraged Kenyans to follow the Covid-19 prevention measures when they are in public.
This is why the government continues to bolster the capacities of our healthcare system and continues monitoring data on the spread of the virus.
This highlights his strategy as characteristically proactive in contrast to the reactive responses of other world leaders. The President called for the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit to assess the Covid-19 situation.
The government’s preparedness to effectively tackle the pandemic has been evident from day one.
As we registered our first domestic cases of infection, intensive care units and isolation centres were established at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi and across the country.
The president reached out to the United Nations to further strengthen the capacity of the Kenyan healthcare system by way of increasing the number of specialised hospital spaces available. The UN has partnered with the Nairobi Hospital to build a 150-bed treatment facility with intensive care, high dependency units, as well as a laboratory and radiology diagnostic centre.
The government also approved a Covid-19 emergency allowance amounting to Sh3billion, which will be funneled to health workers. Doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and others supporting Kenya’s coronavirus response will all be rewarded for their selfless work. The fund is expected to reach the 22 counties most affected by the virus, and support some 15,000 workers.
With these measures in place, Kenya will surely be better prepared for the effective containment of the virus, despite the recent spike in cases. As data from the Health Ministry reveals, while the number of new cases has been increasing in recent days, the number of recoveries has been even greater.
The interaction between the two has resulted in the overall flattening of the curve of active cases in
Kenya. As the Johns Hopkins University’s daily updated statistics reveal, the case-fatality ratio has been 1.67% in our country, a much lower figure than those of our neighbours and in fact, even most European countries. There is a reason to be optimistic about our ability to decisively overcome the current health emergency.
Ms Anyango comments on topical issues. [email protected]