What you need to know:
- The young people, between 20 and 39 years, have emerged as superspreaders of the virus as Kenya’s confirmed cases climbed to 1,471.
- The President said that Kenya has been able to bear the virus a lot better because of its youthful population.
As Covid-19 continues to spread, President Uhuru Kenyatta is grappling with the same problems facing many Kenyan families — being torn apart, and having their social lives disrupted.
At the moment, the President told the Nation, his wife, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, is confined at the Coast together with his son and mother, Ngina Kenyatta.
Apparently, the First Family members were travelling to Mombasa when the government, on April 6, announced a cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa.
But it is the danger that the youth face as they flout measures put in place to curb the virus spread that is concerning the Head of State at the moment.
Giving an example of his son, President Kenyatta said that much younger people think they can survive the virus.
“I’ve a young man who was travelling with his mother and [they] were caught up by the cessation of movement in Mombasa, and because of these rules he found he cannot move,” revealed the President in an exclusive interview.
He said that one of his sons, whom he did not name, sneaked out of home and went out at night.
It was then reported to the President that the young man had flouted the curfew and other measures that the government had put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
He said that he confronted the son. “I asked him a personal question after it was reported to me that he had done that. I asked him: ‘Fine, you’ve gone out, had your fun and enjoyed yourself. But now you have come back and you are with your grandmother… Your grandmother is 80 years plus. If something happens to your grandmother as a result of what you have done, how will you live with yourself?’ I told him it is not about me; it is not about listening to me. It is about how you will live with yourself.”
The President said the reality of the situation the country and the world is in requires self-discipline. “It’s not about what the government is telling you to do. It’s not about what the President, or the minister of Health is telling you to do.”
He said that the main question that Kenyans ought to ask is: "What are you doing, not only to protect yourself, but those around you."
While some of the countries with much older populations have been devastated by the virus, the President said that Kenya has been able to bear the virus a lot better because of its youthful population. “But younger people also think they can bear the responsibility… thinking, I will survive…”
It is estimated that about 75 per cent of Kenya's population is under 30 years of age, and this is giving the government an opportunity and a challenge in tackling the virus.
The young people, between 20 and 39 years, have emerged as superspreaders of the virus as Kenya’s confirmed cases climbed to 1,471.
The challenge within the First Family is the same confronting many parents as Covid-19 continues to spread across counties.
“It’s a very challenging time. As the Head of State, leader and the person responsible for the government, the Covid-19 pandemic worries me… it concerns me. We want life to go back to normal,” he said.