93,000 INFECTED GLOBALLY

Culture of shaking hands exposes us to coronavirus risk

Best to take caution as the government is not prepared to handle coronavirus

In Summary

• I would advise every citizen in the country to get a mask, disinfectant and restrict greetings to a mere wave at least a metre from other people if greetings are a must.

• One infected person in Kenya spells doom for the country as the virus is spreading like a bushfire and the best thing to do is to be cautious for one's own sake. 

A girl in a protective face mask in London in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
EVERYONE FOR THEMSELVES: A girl in a protective face mask in London in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
Image: REUTERS

Alleged detection of coronavirus in the country should send an alarm to the government that they are supposed to think out of the box and put in place measures to ensure the deadly virus does not spread. 

Having specialists at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is a good idea but they are supposed also to put up more measures such as quarantine of every person who flies in from any country after China – because just barring flights from affected countries does not really help if people can travel to other countries then connect to Kenya, probably carrying the virus. 

All hospitals should also be equipped with at least one kit to test flu-like symptoms and possibly, coronavirus – as people in areas without higher-level hospitals might not know if they are infected, hence catalysing the spread. 

The virus has so far infected at least 93,000 people across 76 countries in the world, even as countries like Poland record their first case.

But Kenyans do not seem to take the virus with the seriousness it calls for as even masks are not being worn. Kenyans also have an unhealthy culture of shaking hands with almost everyone they run into. Someone will sneeze into their hand and extend it to shake just anybody else's hand. The cycle will repeat itself until cases erupt from within – yet we are not prepared as a country to deal with such an outbreak. 

But how scared are we really of this virus? Didn't state officials green-light a Chinese airways plane with 239 passengers to land at JKIA? The passengers could be anywhere in the country even after a court order demanding they be quarantined in a Kenya Defence Forces facility. But even the three CSs summoned by MPs over the issue skipped the summonses and sent representatives. What else could this mean apart from the obvious truth that the court order wasn't obeyed? 

At this point, it's every Kenyan for themselves and the gods for the whole country. I would advise every citizen in the country to get themselves a mask, disinfectant and restrict greetings to a mere wave at least a metre from other people if greetings are a must. 

One infected person in Kenya spells doom for the country as the virus is spreading like a bushfire and the best thing to do is to be cautious for one's own sake. 

 

Kisumu