What started as a disease in China and most Kenyans dismissed as a problem too far away from home to be concerned about, soon became a nightmare within our borders. On March 13, Kenya reported its first Covid-19 case.
A novel virus neither scientists nor laymen knew would turn the lives of Kenyans upside down, socially and economically, had visited our borders and it now looks like the disease is here for the long haul.
When the first case was recorded, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe assured Kenyans the government was well prepared to handle any infections. He said there was no need to worry and urged Kenyans to observe the measures put in place to avoid the spread of the disease.
Two weeks later, the coronavirus disease killed one person, heightening anxiety among Kenyans.
Armed with the scanty information available and like many other countries, Kenya adopted a learn-as-you-go approach to battle the virus.
From hygiene measures to lockdowns and a curfew, Kenya adopted several strategies to curb the coronavirus spread. Even before the World Health Organization became clear on the role of masks in preventing the spread, Kenya made it mandatory to wear them in public places.
The number of cases went up over time and four months down the line, the country woke up to the sad news of Dr Doreen Adisa’s death. She became the first doctor to pay the ultimate price in the line of duty.
Now, five months later, the infections have risen to more than 26,000. The viral disease has also claimed more than 400 lives.
Without a vaccine and with signs the disease is here to stay, Kenya has started reopening its economy.