COVID-19

What you do will determine whether lockdown is needed

Total shut down remained the only option for those countries after other less punitive measures failed

In Summary

• The world is united in dealing with the pandemic and it is hoped that a reprieve will be found soon.

•  The effects of the Covid-19 are well documented and information from other countries and the trends communicated by the media.

If there's anything that currently poses a serious existential threat to humanity,it is the spread of coronavirus.

The world is united in dealing with the pandemic and it is hoped that a reprieve will be found soon.

This, notwithstanding, the fact that most of the diseases and disasters we face today are results of human beings' actions or inactions such as global warming, lack of disaster preparedness, failure to adhere to safety precautions and lack of capacity or mere refusal to do what one is expected to do means we will continue to suffer.

The effects of the Covid-19 are well documented and information from other countries and the trends communicated by the media.

On this score, the Kenya government has had daily press briefings through the Ministry of Health and the team cobbled to handle this emergency. This is to ensure that communication from the affected, help givers and the committee is well coordinated.

What seems to be a problem is how to implement a raft of directives the ministry has been giving, especially on self-distancing. The transport sector remains a major conduit for possible transmission, if the cases of infection reach the scale seen in Europe and China.

While long-distance transporters are getting on well with safety measures, albeit with some hiccups,a lot of negation takes place when the short distance ones even carry extra passengers in blatant disregard for the dangers such actions pose.

Vehicles are not cleaned or fumigated, and passengers seem oblivious of what they need to observe to stay safe. The little care they take is so casual that it feels as if they are doing it because it is a government directive.

As is evident from the most ravaged countries, the exponential spread in weeks after the initial report speaks volumes to very heady days if we become pliant and fail to adhere to the standards set.

Total shut down remained the only option for those countries after other less punitive measures failed or deemed ineffective due to the enormity of the problem. Kenya and Africa, with their weak health, sanitation and economic systems, must try to avoid that disruptive path recession and bedlam if possible. The fact is that it is a prospect we stare at on an hourly basis through our inactions and transgressions.

 Odhiambo Jamwa is an economic and political analyst