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Editorials

EDITORIAL: This is no time to drop the ball on Covid fight

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

There was some good news from the Covid-19 battlefront as the government disclosed on Tuesday that Kenya had recorded 173 recoveries compared to new infections at 151.

This marked the first time daily recoveries surpassed new cases — an indicator that the preventative measures put in place to fight the spread of the virus are bearing fruit.

However, the country cannot afford to drop the ball in enforcing the rules meant to control the virus. It has become clear over the past few months that this virus is as much a health issue as it is an economic one.

The economic battle is especially far from being won.

The Covid-19 pandemic has laid to waste Kenya’s job market, claiming more than 1.7 million jobs in the space of just five months.

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Regaining these jobs and putting the economy back on the previous growth path will take time. To do so the country cannot afford to see a rebound in the number of cases and a possible return to the restrictions that have been eased progressively over the last two months.

Already, we have seen second waves of infections in other countries where citizens mistook the containment of the virus as a licence to ignore social distancing measures and return to business as usual.

A return to lockdowns in some countries resulted in an even bigger hit on their economies that were just starting to recover.

With these lessons in mind, Kenyans and the government need to ensure that the preventative measures already in place continue to be observed, both at communal and personal levels.

Kenyans must not fall into the trap of thinking that the declining number of reported cases mean that the country is now Covid-free.

It is disturbing to see an increasing number of people disregarding the simple measures that have led to the falling numbers, such as wearing masks when in public and maintaining social distancing in public service vehicles.

Action must be taken against those breaking the containment measures, otherwise we risk rolling back the gains and extending the economic pain.

It is time to consolidate the gains and if possible enhance them.

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