Let’s all play our part to combat coronavirus pandemic

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 00:00 | By
An Ethiopian official sprays sanitizer on the hands of passengers to prevent coronavirus, in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Jane Karuku 

The world over is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and it is becoming apparent that the road towards the success of containing the spread of the virus will mainly fall on our collective approach as citizens.

With global confirmed infections reaching surpassing 1.2 million across the world  and  more than 70,000  deaths, it is evident that all countries around the globe are struggling to slow new infections. 

Since the first case was announced in Kenya on March 13, the infections had risen to 142 by April 5, according to figures released by the Health ministry.

Kenya currently ranks at position eleven among African countries with the COVID-19 infections out of the 4,995 cases reported across the continent.

World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that there are currently 43 African nations affected by the pandemic. The number is increasing by the day.

As Kenyans, it is now upon us to develop strategies and intervention measures that we will use to fight this pandemic.

We are cognisant of the fact that many countries are now designing elaborate response strategies to ensure the crisis does not evolve into economic disruption.

The Kenyan government has announced a raft of policy measures, behavioral protocols and economic reliefs aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 and cushion Kenyans.

Further, the government has established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide for a framework to mobilise resources for an emergency response towards containing the virus spread, its effects and impacts.

This Fund is meant to support the implementation of targeted State interventions to cushion every Kenyan from shocks arising from the pandemic.

While the primary sources of the fund will be from monies appropriated by the National Assembly and voluntary contributions from public officers and private persons; more than ever we need the support of Kenyans of goodwill to come together and be counted.

By doing so, this is a total proof that there is much more that brings us together as a country than that which separates us.

 The implementation of this fund will go a long way in ensuring that the government continues to guarantee all Kenyans and most importantly the most vulnerable in our society the opportunity to continue enjoying their social, civil and economic rights.

We are, therefore, appealing to the private sector through its different segments, media houses, artistes, athletes, foundations and all citizens of goodwill to come on board and help fight this pandemic.

Additionally, considering that County governments play a crucial role in public health, they should readily make available the emergency funds that they have established to enhance preparedness and quick intervention from their end. 

Although mobilisation of funds is key to mitigating the pandemic, our primary personal responsibility is to ensure that we adhere to the government decrees as issued.

These include directives on maintaining social distancing in public transport, shopping malls, entertainment joints and social gatherings as well as self-quarantine.

To this extent, we shall be able to collectively stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

Fellow citizens just as pronounced by John F Kennedy, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected,” I urge all of us to come together and help the government fight this pandemic.

—The writer is the chairperson of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. [email protected]

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