VIRUS CASES ON THE RISE

Kenyans cross fingers for eased restrictions, again

Last month, many planned to celebrate reopening of social joints by attending them

In Summary

• On Sunday, global Covid-19 cases crossed the 10 million mark as deaths reached half a million worldwide. 

• The President is expected to revise Covid-19 restrictions as the country plans to gradually reopen the economy. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a teleconference with IGAD member states at State House.
TO EASE OR TIGHTEN: President Uhuru Kenyatta during a teleconference with IGAD member states at State House.
Image: PSCU

This week, Kenyans find themselves at the same spot as last month when Covid-19 restrictions were extended.

The week leading to the President's last address had the anxiety level reach its fever pitch, its capping being the reckless behaviour of some people waiting for their moment of joy.

The long awaited announcement didn't materialise as the President extended most of the nationwide restrictions. Now, every citizen within the country is waiting for President Uhuru Kenyatta's address on Monday, as to whether the virus prevention restrictions will be relaxed. 

Last week, the World passed what the media termed 'a grim milestone'.

On Sunday, global Covid-19 cases crossed the 10 million mark as deaths reached half a million worldwide. 

The US alone has recorded more than 123,000 deaths. But even worse were reports that countries and states that had earlier allowed partial reopening were backtracking as their daily infections hit higher marks again.

In the USA, the governors of Texas and California had to beat hasty retreats following a sporadic surge in new cases.

India and Brazil, accounting for over a third of all the new infections in the past week, are battling outbreaks of over 10,000 cases a day as the pandemic enters a new phase.

India once last week recorded 20,000 new cases. China, New Zealand and Australia that had virtually quashed local transmissions are experiencing a new wave of infections.

It is against the background of such grim data, pointing at an uptick rather than the ideal situation of downward trend, that the restrictions are expected to be revised at the President's next address.

Health experts all over the world opine that the positive cases could just be ' tip of the iceberg' as the virus spread could be wider than estimated.

Curiously, Kenyans have normalised all that by doing most of the things the old way. PSVs are getting more complacent, as are social places such as restaurants.

While experts warn that the virus could peak sometime around September or October, the weakest links such as the law enforcers, politicians and to-be fully opened transport sectors are going to be even more difficult to handle unless the government takes a more people-centric approach.

More importantly will be impartiality and fidelity to the laws. Any decision made now will need more thinking than just the reopening of the economy.

Economic and political analyst