Coping with COVID-19 in Kenya: A slow start to high alert
The first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was reported in Kenya on 13 March 2020 just two days after the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic. This fact made Kenya the first East African country to report a case of coronavirus in the region. Since then, the country has reported 59 cases as of 31 March 2020 at 17.00 hours. Out of these, 57 are active while one has fully recovered and one dead.
With these confirmations in the country, a raft of measures were put in place to slow and manage the spread. Some of these measures included banning travel in and out of the country, for those nationals on foreign countries who wish to be evacuated back home. Schools and higher learning institutions have also closed their doors. There has been put in place measures to sensibilise the population on the need for regular hand washing, keeping social distance (at least one metre), avoiding to touch mouth, eyes and nose, and more import STAYING AT HOME. From Friday, 27 March 2020, a countrywide daily curfew is being implemented between 7 pm and 5 am.
As the population adapts to the new norm, people are spreading unverified and inaccurate information about the issue through social media. Similarly, unscrupulous business people are taking advantage to exploit the public; many people are rushing to do panic shopping and others ignoring to keep the safety guidelines given by the government.
Students are out of school without receiving proper guidance on why they are not in school. Despite, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development developing lessons that are aired on radio and television, many learners have no access to these facilities at home. Similarly, universities have embraced teaching online lessons through Moodle and Google classroom. The challenge is access to the internet and discipline to follow online lessons.
- Herbert Makinda, Kenya