Go back to basics in the war on Covid-19

Nakuru health workers' team building at Afraha

Health workers from various Covid-19 isolation centres in Nakuru County take part in physical activities during a team building session at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru Town on November 15, 2020.

Photo credit: Eric Matara | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It’s time Kenyans reflected on the safety protocols and guidelines and followed them to the letter

When Covid-19 came calling in March, the government made an effort to ensure the country was safe and in a position to stop the spread of the contagious disease.

It was an effort worth the praise of the WHO and the international community. The authorities closed schools and other facilities that were thought to facilitate the spread of the virus like countries in the First World. Kenyans, optimistic as ever, believed the pandemic would soon pass.

The lifting of the containment measures, however, has proved them wrong. The overcautious government team, led by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, has turned out to be a big let-down. From goofed daily updates to lack of adequate testing facilities, leave alone lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), we seem to be faltering when we should be winning.

The health authorities are between a rock and a hard place and seem to be groping in the dark. Hard questions need to addressed here before the fight against the pandemic evaporates before our own eyes.

But where did the rain start beating us? Did we do it right from day one? Were the daily updates based on facts on the ground? What about the PPE and county capacities to handle the spread of the coronavirus.

Somebody up the echelons of the war against Covid-19 has to come out and tell the nation the whole truth. The refusal by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to foot hospital bills for Covid-19 patients when the government has been telling Kenyans to be up to it with the medical insurance for the purposes of achieving universal health coverage is questionable.

Kenya is still capable of stopping Covid-19. This can, however, only happen when forward planning replaces mediocre performance and transparency becomes key.

David M. Kigo, Nairobi

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As the Covid-19 pandemic hits the country harder, we need to be more cautious, especially with medical practitioners dying of the disease in the line of duty, yet they are the people in the frontline of the war against the virus.

It’s time Kenyans reflected on the safety protocols and guidelines and followed them to the letter. Think about having a loved one who’s tested positive for Covid-19, but no medical practitioners to attend to them.

Doctors have families. They have their lives to live, too. Let us not assume that they treat patients just because it is their work; it takes courage and a bold heart to take up such a career.

If we take it upon ourselves to keep safe, we will be protecting the heroic medics, who put their lives on the line to save humanity. Let’s not take them for granted.

Winnie Shisia, Kisumu


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