Covid-19 Situation in KenyasteemCreated with Sketch.

in #covid-192 years ago

The current situation with the worldwide spread of COVID-19 has not spared the countries that don't feature much in the international news. Kenya, an East African country within the African continent, hasn't been spared from the effects of the arrival of the pandemic within its borders.

First off, there were concerns from the citizens at the arrival of some Chinese nationals who arrived in the country in February without the due precaution of processing the passengers. An airport worker was suspended when he blew the whistle upon their arrival.

With time, the first case of a COVID-19 was identified and it was discovered that she had arrived from the US via Europe. Currently, the most identified cases coming from outside the country are reported to have come from the Arab peninsula.

With cases of people still going about their business as usual despite calls of social distancing, wearing facemasks, and staying home, a dawn-to-dusk curfew was issued nationwide, and eventually, certain parts of the country have been put under lock-down.

This has not stopped certain individuals who have to make a living away from either inside or outside lock-down regions from finding workarounds. Every major road into lock-down regions has a police roadblock. If you are an essential service provider/worker (one who transports foodstuff, a health worker, etc) or work for the government, you need to have a pass to cross these barriers. Some who haven't been able to obtain these permits have been forced to rediscover old footpaths that connect these regions without detection from the authorities. Even motorbike transport systems (boda-boda) are being used in this way since they can access routes impassable by regular-sized vehicles.

Those who are meant to enforce the law discover some of these routes and turn them into cash-cows, as anybody caught would not want to be detained in prison or quarantine facilities. A little 'fee' is paid for their freedom and they are let go. This happens mostly because there aren't any stimulus/employment relief funds for citizens in spite of the fact that many African governments should have the capacity to provide for such after so many years of independence.

Some who are considered destitute and disabled may receive funds, but for most regular folk and those laid off, it's either you resume/go look for work or you perish quarantining yourself. Those who have been fortunate to work from home as freelancers/remote staff are yet to be affected by the 'side effects' of these events.

On a positive note, an M-Pesa (mobile-money) agent has 'invented' a money sanitizer to shield himself from handling potentially contaminated notes. It dispenses hand sanitizer on the notes as they pass through the device. Many have hailed it as a noble attempt, alongside others in the past who have come up with automatic soap and water dispensers to curtail the handling of faucets and soap dispensers by hand.

In my opinion, cash drawers/cash registers and safes can integrate ultra-violet technology to help sanitize banknotes. There may also be better ways of handling this pandemic situation if only heads are soberly put together and more transparency is displayed in the utilization of relief funds the nation is receiving. Comical situations of county MPs being caught drinking in a bar and a local chief being spotted wasted while on duty point to more serious problems than those that appear on the surface.

Some intriguing events involving short-notice demolition of shanties in certain areas of the capital city (families have nowhere to go) and some private homes in the city outskirts at night show that the powers that be are taking advantage of the COVID distraction to muscle some changes on the ground. Granted, some of these areas are said to be lands that were meant for different purposes or sold illegally but the inhumane approach considering the lock-down and economic situation raises many questions.


(YouTube)

All we can hope for is this pandemic situation will fizzle off with the help of all our efforts to bring it under control soon. Godspeed to all.

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