How quickly the government reopens society, especially schools and places of worship, will depend on Kenya's ability to aggressively test and isolate those with coronavirus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday hinted at the possible reopening of schools and worship places even as the country records rising infections of coronavirus disease and the Ministry of Health grapples with a shortage of test materials in government laboratories.
Officials are betting on guidelines such as social distancing and hygiene for learners and worshippers to ensure safety. But what directives will control loud style worship and singing that encourage respiratory droplets spraying further than six feet?
With research showing that the virus can linger in the air for substantial periods of time and might infect someone who walks into a room an hour later, will the government limit the number of congregants? Will the Ministry of Education consistently offer free masks, sanitiser, and build cubicles in classrooms to protect learners?
We want nothing more than to see the society back up and running, but address the shortages of tests kits first. Let us learn from past epidemics. No government can control a scourge without screening and treating the sick.