Retain some protocols as we reopen economy
Monday, September 28th, 2020
By close of business today, millions of parents would have known the fate of their children’s education, seven months after the coronavirus pandemic slammed emergency brakes on learning.
Likewise, businesspeople especially small-scale traders are likely to heave a sigh of relief as the government reviews strict containment measures put in place to check the spread of Covid-19.
As is widely expected, President Uhuru Kenyatta will announce dates for resumption of learning and also spell measures to reopen an economy that has been suffocated by blanket restrictions necessary to contain the deadly virus that has so far claimed close to 700 lives locally and turned lives upside down for many families.
Kenyans have every reason to feel excited by the resumption of normalcy after severe restrictions that have created a new way of life never thought possible.
The biggest outcome would obviously be seeing children back in class as the Ministry of Education grapples with ways to recoup lost lessons.
We urge patience and understanding as officials and teachers navigate this unchartered waters to resume learning and prepare national tests for examination classes.
Indeed, we appreciate that we cannot be in lockdown forever, and life must go on.
The President has in the past endured extreme pressure from various stakeholders to reopen the economy but in his wisdom and following advice from various experts kept certain containment measures in place.
We might all appreciate that his actions were necessary for the final good.
As we await the President’s speech, it’s important to remind ourselves that even as the much-touted flattening of the Covid-19 curve, we’re not completely out of the woods.
Experts have cautioned that the levels of testing have been low while many rural counties are recording a significant number of infections.
This means the virus is still around and must be taken seriously.
We, therefore, add our voice and support experts calling on government to consider retaining some of the measures necessary to check a renewed surge in infections.
Such protocols as washing hands with soap, sanitising, wearing face masks in public places and observing social distancing should be enforced for a little longer, to avoid a resurgence of infections.
As the World Health Organisation has warned, countries that are recording lower infections must strengthen their monitoring mechanisms to avoid the dreaded second wave of the virus.