FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

Only the curfew is over, Covid-19 still a threat

It is incumbent upon Kenyans to take precautionary measures to avoid falling victims

In Summary

• The risk of individuals letting loose and over engaging in night activities will mean more risks being taken thus spike in infection rates.

• It is imperative that Kenyans remember the pandemic remains with us. Covid-19 is still out there with the same capability of killing those infected.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday lifted the Covid-19 curfew saying the national infection rate had declined significantly over the last fortnight to below 5 per cent.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday lifted the Covid-19 curfew saying the national infection rate had declined significantly over the last fortnight to below 5 per cent.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced the end of curfew in his Mashujaa Day speech to the nation.

Kenyans breathed a sigh of relief as they’ve waited anxiously for months to see the end of the curfew.

With this news, it means everyone is now free to again engage and work round the clock without fear of being caught out during curfew hours. Transactions and engagements, personal or official, can now happen at any time of the day or night. Life is slowly but surely returning back to normal after a difficult one and a half years of Covid-19 restrictions.

The lifting of the curfew now means many sectors that had been hindered from operating normally can again resume operations. It also means jobs will be created and opportunities will increase.

Sectors such as transport can resume night travel. This will almost double the drivers and conductors hired and will see more passengers able to reach their destinations to conduct their businesses. It also means restaurants and entertainment joints can again operate extended hours thus generate employment and resources.

The lifting of the curfew has been made possible mainly by the health sector. Kenyans owe it to selfless doctors and nurses who have been working round the clock to contain the virus and its devastating effects.

Many in the medical fraternity fell sick, while others lost their lives as they treated those suffering from Covid-19. It is indeed the ultimate sacrifice to lose your life while saving the lives of others. As a country, Kenya will do well to honour and appreciate these great men and women in the health sector.

Besides the medical fraternity, there are other key sectors, particularly essential services providers, who played a major role in ensuring Kenyans remained serviced with goods and services throughout the pandemic. They include the transport sector, food and beverages producers, security officers, wholesalers and retailers among others. Without them and the good job they did, despite the risks, it would have been impossible for Kenyans to access the essential goods and services they needed during curfew hours.

As we celebrate the lifting of the curfew, we must also remember those among us who did not make it as they succumbed to the disease. Kenya’s death rates from Covid-19 stands at over 5,000 as of this week.

While at the beginning of the pandemic everyone questioned if anyone knows anyone who has had Covid-19, now almost everyone knows someone who has either died of the disease or got infected. Covid-19 is real and has cost many lives in Kenya and around the world.

With the lifting of the curfew comes new challenges.

Top on the agenda is insecurity. Statistics from security agencies show a drastic reduction of common outdoor crimes during the curfew. Theft, burglary and mugging had reduced to lowest levels ever reported.

During curfew hours, police were merely patrolling those breaking the curfew and not individuals engaging in crime. Now that the curfew has been lifted, there is danger of return of these crimes. It is, therefore, incumbent upon Kenyans to take precautionary measures to avoid falling victims.

The other risk facing Kenyans is the irresponsible politicians who are on the campaign trail. During this pandemic, politicians have been the highest spreaders of the disease. With the curfew lifted, it means they can now extend their meetings to evenings. It also means they will be able to do their rounds and hold secret meetings freely at night.

Besides politicians, there is also the danger of general complacency. The risk of individuals letting loose and over engaging in night activities will mean more risks being taken thus spike in infection rates.

It is imperative that Kenyans remember the pandemic remains with us. Covid-19 is still out there with the same capability of killing those infected. Lifting of the curfew should not mean an end of precaution. Everyone must continue wearing masks, social distancing and above all, get vaccinated. If we truly want to keep the curfew away, we must continue adhering to health regulations.