DIVERSIONARY

MP's claim Kenya has more Covid-19 cases raises panic

State's measures laudable, has vowed to take more drastic ones if necessitated

In Summary

• If we adhere to guidelines, fewer people will get infected hence reducing pressure on the health system, meaning adequate care to those already sick. 

• Experts certain that the total number of cases is higher than the number of known confirmed cases but because of limited testing, the number is not known. 

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie.
APOLOGISES: Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie.
Image: THE STAR

Claims by Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie that Kenya has more Covid-19 cases than what we know and that the situation out there is more serious are reckless and beside the point.

Even if they were true, they are immaterial at this stage, in two ways - one, they sell panic and two, they are diversionary. We don’t need hypotheses at this time.

We know that our healthcare system is underfunded and unsustainable. We also know that our leaders are corrupt and most of them are inept. And everyone knows that Kenya, like most global south countries, is unequal. 

But we also know that our politicians are not famous for rising to the responsibility of true leadership. For that, we will excuse the legislator - but we should not take a rap for unnecessary rant and self-righteousness. 

The world is at war and literally at a standstill. Many have never seen it like this as they are a young generation. What everyone wants are survival tips. How they’re going to weather this storm. Not misplaced whistleblowing. 

Experts have argued that confirmed cases are not the same as the number of total cases in any given geographical space. According to a report published by ourworldindata.org, the exact number of people infected with the novel coronavirus is unknown. 

The total number of Covid-19 cases is not known. It is, however, certain that the total number of cases is higher than the number of known confirmed cases. This is mainly due to limited testing.

Governments across the globe are racing against time to reduce the peak of infections by calling on their citizens to take up a raft of measures.

The Kenyan government has, so far, responded well, at least after the index case. It has put in place a dusk-to-dawn curfew and reiterated it wouldn’t hesitate to take more drastic measures if and when circumstances necessitate. 

If citizens adhere to the guidelines, fewer people will get infected hence reducing pressure on the health system, meaning adequate care can be given to those who are already sick. 

This is what the MP ought to have anchored his message on. His claim that the government isn’t honest with the information it shares with the public can be understood as diversionary. People will want to overestimate the severity of the virus thus causing unnecessary panic.

 

Journalism student, Multimedia University of Kenya