CORONAVIRUS

More testing desirable but is it possible today?

In Summary

• The Kenya Medical Association wants greatly increased medical testing to inform government decisions on extending the lockdown.

• Kenya is still managing the coronavirus more successfully than many European countries.

Amina Kalifa, an Eastliegh resident, is tested for coronavirus using at Beafra Medical Center on May 15, 2020.
Amina Kalifa, an Eastliegh resident, is tested for coronavirus using at Beafra Medical Center on May 15, 2020.
Image: MERCY MUMO

The Kenya Medical Association wants any easing of the lockdown to be only allowed after greatly increased testing (see P11).

KMA President Jacqueline Kitulu says government is making decisions in the dark because of inadequate testing and contact tracing. She said yesterday that the extension of the quarantine was not based on scientific analysis.

In an ideal world, every single Kenyan would be tested so that Covid-19 infections could be immediately isolated. China is testing 10 million people in Wuhan but that is beyond our capabilities.

 

The government's decisions on the lockdown are based on informed guesswork based on the incidence of positive cases. That approach seems to have been reasonably effective so far, indeed much better than many European countries.

The biggest loophole is the large number of long-distance lorry drivers testing positive. That needs to be dealt with, perhaps through a corona passport.

There is not much more that government can do right now. But the public can do a lot more. It is shocking that many Kenyans are relaxing on social distancing and the use of masks. That should be a greater worry for the KMA.

Quote of the day: "Do you want to be a man of today or a man of tomorrow?"

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
The first president and founder of modern Turkey was born on May 19, 1881