Since its outbreak in Wuhan China, Coronavirus has spread across almost all nations of the globe like a bush fire. This global public health concern does not spare any country-rich or poor. Both have been affected equally regardless of their political might, economic stability or even technological know-how.
The world has learned from Italy who downplayed the Coronavirus threat during the critical days of its outbreak. Sadly, the country was recording a daily death toll of about 700-900 during March. The government opted to implement a very tough measure to combat the spread and save the people. They announced a nationwide lockdown and is believed to have turned the situation for better with the death toll significantly reducing day by day.
The first cases in Spain were reported on 26th February in Barcelona and Madrid. It is after these confirmations that the public hospitals called for the Ministry of Health to take measures and do mass testing of citizens. Just as the case with Italy, the concerned authorities did not act promptly until the number of confirmed cases surged drastically. Spain became the most hit country in Europe with the number of new cases growing exponentially.
In China where this virus is alleged to have been manufactured, the response was robust. By mid-January, the Chinese government announced the cessation of movement in and out of the city of Wuhan and 15 others. This meant that there was restricted mobility of over 60 million people due to the suspension of both rail and air travels. This phase was followed by imposing a national lockdown to restrict the movement of their over 760 million population. The measures have worked perfectly well for china.
Our country Kenya had all time to strategize and install a strong response team long before the first case was reported on 12th March. The response team was supposed to stay in an emergency mode and ready to bounce back in the hour of need. Contrary to everyone expectations, it took time for the government to cancel international flights and impose cessation of movements. The Nairobi Metropolitan area and the Coastal region have hence become epicentres of the virus. We have so far recorded 14 deaths due to the COVID-19 and the spread curve seem to be growing upwards despite all the measures imposed to flatten it.
The Kenyan Ministry of Health had projected over 5,000 infections by mid-April and 10,000 infections by the end of the month. But the good news is, this projection has failed; credit to Kenyans who have adhered to the guidelines set by the ministry of health: they have washed hands; kept a social distance, stayed at home and obeyed the curfew directive (apart from the few deviants).
Kenyans are now waiting for the government to start mass testing and expose the giant in details. Is the projection still valid? It is a matter of wait and see. Experts have warned that this is not a target to be met and Kenyans should be happy that all the preventive measures have worked on our favour. But if the pandemic has shocked the health system in the UK, Italy, US and Spain – is Kenya going to beat the odds? God knows.
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