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Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

 

Covid-19: le nombre de cas confirmés en Côte d’Ivoire s’établit à 194 dont 15 guéris

Publié le 03.04.2020 à 01h18 par APA

Le nombre de cas confirmés au Coronavirus (Covid-19) en Côte d’Ivoire a grimpé jeudi à 194 dont 15 guéris et un décès, selon un bilan du ministère de la Santé et de l’hygiène publique, faisant état de quatre nouveaux cas de contamination dans le pays.« Le ministère de la Santé et de l’hygiène publique a enregistré ce jeudi 2 avril 2020, 4 nouveaux cas d’infection à Covid-19 sur 81 échantillons prélevés, portant à 194 le nombre total de cas confirmés », a annoncé Aka Aouélé, le ministre de tutelle.

Selon M. Aka Aouélé, on note également ce jeudi six nouveaux guéris, portant le nombre total de malades guéris au Covid-19 à 15 et un décès. Mercredi, 11 nouveaux cas détectés ont été localisés dans la ville d’Abidjan et plus précisément à Cocody dans l’Est d’Abidjan qui enregistre 45% des cas. Deux personnes localisées à Korhogo (Extrême Nord) et à Duékoué (Extrême Ouest) ont été acheminées à Abidjan pour des tests médicaux, a-t-il conclu.

Devant l’apparition de signes tels que la toux, la fièvre et les difficultés respiratoires, il est recommandé aux populations de contacter les numéros d’urgence gratuits 143, 101, 125 et le 119. Les équipes d’intervention rapide, étant chargés de se rendront auprès de ces cas.  

Face à la situation de crise sanitaire endeuillant des familles et affectant les économies à l’échelle mondiale, le président Alassane Ouattara, a décrété l’état d’urgence et autorisé l’isolement du Grand Abidjan afin de freiner la propagation du virus sur le territoire ivoirien.


Burkina: un plan de riposte de 178 milliards Fcfa contre le Covid-19

Publié le 02.04.2020 à 22h18 par APA

Le Burkina Faso a fait passer son plan de riposte contre le Covid-19 de 11 à près de 178 milliards de FCFA, a annoncé jeudi, le ministre de la Communication, Porte-parole du gouvernement, Rémis Fulgance Dandjinou, à l’issue du Conseil des ministres.M. Dandjinou qui s’exprimait à l’issue du deuxième e-Conseil des ministres, a indiqué que ce plan de riposte révisé contre le Coronavirus est exactement de 177 milliards 914 millions 978 mille 612 FCFA.

Il a précisé que ledit plan prend en compte toutes les huit régions du Burkina Faso actuellement touchées par la maladie, sur les 13 (régions) que compte le pays.

Le premier plan de riposte était de 11 milliardsFCFA et était orienté seulement vers Ouagadougou et Bobo-Dioulasso, où se recense la majorité des cas positifs.

Selon le Porte-parole du gouvernement, le président du Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré va annoncer ce jeudi à 20 heures (GMT et local) sur les antennes de la télévision publique, des mesures sociales au profit des personnes démunies et des acteurs économiques.

Le Burkina Faso qui a recensé ses premiers  cas de Covid-19, le 9 mars dernier, présente à la date du 1er avril, 288 cas de la maladie, contre 50 guérisons et 16 décès.


Global effort key in war on Covid-19

ADHERE CAVINCEBy ADHERE CAVINCE
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United States President Donald Trump, the most prominent denier of the novel coronavirus, has finally come around to the reality of the pandemic, which is sweeping through his country.

After months of playing down the threat of the virus while hounding China with a plethora of accusations, President Trump recently delivered a grim concession to the world that the US could be up against unprecedented health, social and economic challenges.

Trump’s turnaround could be a significant breakthrough in the global efforts to contain the virus and the disease it causes, Covid-19.

Last week’s meeting of foreign ministers of the seven most advanced economies (G7) failed to issue a joint statement after the US insisted on Covid-19 being called the “Wuhan virus”, to the consternation of the other countries and contrary to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Later, an extraordinary G20 Summit on the coronavirus could not commit to the request by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the doubling of its funding, even as more cash-strapped nations with a heavy disease burden turned to the institution for help.

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IMF has since indicated that over 70 countries, mainly developing ones, have applied for emergency credit to deal with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the disease continues to spread, taking more lives. According to Worldometer, which tracks the pandemic, it has so far infected over 876,348 people in 203 countries and territories and killed 43,521.

The US has become the new Covid-19 epicentre with more than 189,000 infections and 4,000 deaths.

The two top economies, America and China, ought to boost global efforts against Covid-19.

Stigmatisation, blame game and power politics between Washington and Beijing have proven a hindrance to cushioning the world from the virus sting.

There are many gaps regarding communication and cooperation on Covid-19 preparedness and response.

From European countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany and United Kingdom to the US, countries are seemingly struggling to achieve the level of epidemic controls earlier seen in China.

Equally, the disease has disrupted the industrial production and global value chains in unmatched ways.

SHIELD ECONOMY

Deemed to be the world factory, China has since resumed industrial activity.

Much of the critical equipment, drugs and other medical products needed in the management of Covid-19, as well as other daily necessities, are sourced from the Asian country.

Beijing should, therefore, continue with the streak of production and sharing of these essential commodities with the affected countries.

Both China and the US should judiciously exercise their influence within the ranks of the United Nations and other multilateral platforms and engineer targeted responses that go beyond epidemics control into cushioning the global economy from collapse.

In the absence of further synergies, the world is likely to see more damage from the virus.

While Africa has so far recorded 5,797 cases and 96 deaths, the WHO has warned that weak public health systems make the continent quite vulnerable and could be the next vortex of the Covid-19 storm.

The UN has warned of impending global instability, unrest and conflict as a result of the disease.

DISCIPLINED PUBLIC

The world should not witness another migrant crises, mass starvation or a sicker population.

Even as we await an international response, every country must do all within its ability to prevent the spread of the disease.

Kenya on Thursday announced 29 new infections, the highest recorded in 24 hours, and the third death from the coronavirus.

With a total patient load of 110, the country is at a critical point in the transmissions curve. The government has since ramped up testing to identify and curb further risks.

But even as the State does its part, no campaign of this magnitude can succeed without sustained public cooperation and participation.

Countries that have been successful in stemming the spread of Covid-19, like China, also have some of the most disciplined populations.

Without nudging the country into more drastic measures, Kenyans should be self-disciplined, observing the stipulated guidelines such as social distancing, personal hygiene and self-isolation if experiencing Covid-19-like symptoms.

Finally, the two recoveries reported in the country so far are clear indications that Covid-19 is beatable.

The best strategy to beat it, however, is avoiding infection, not living through it. Kenyans literally hold their future in their hands.

Choosing to follow expert advice or not will make the ultimate difference.


Technology key to justice

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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One of the major casualties of the coronavirus pandemic is the Judiciary, where proceedings have been drastically scaled down.

Chief Justice David Maraga announced a two-week suspension of criminal and civil cases, in line with the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

This was hardly surprising, as the courts are notoriously overcrowded, creating the environment that would favour the rapid spread of infections.

The biggest challenge, though, is that the wheel of justice does not often move as fast as it should, creating a backlog of cases, and as the old saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied.

The CJ’s well-meaning move has just compounded a perennial problem of case backlogs by further slowing down the judicial process.

However, with no indication as to when guidelines requiring people to stay at home or maintain social distancing at work will be lifted, the CJ will definitely be forced to extend it.

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TECHNOLOGY

The judicial system is in dire need of reforms to speed up the delivery of justice.

What the epidemic has taught all of us is the need to change rigid practices or traditions in order to survive.

With churches and other religious organisations now relaying services to their faithful in their living rooms on TV, technology is the answer.

The court system should likewise leverage technology to ease the delivery of justice and cut costs. Video conferencing can enable virtual trials.

It is also possible to set up online portals through which litigants and their lawyers can communicate. By embracing technology, the Judiciary can circumvent the crisis.

Courts can receive documents through digital media and similarly issue their rulings.

The Judiciary must prove that it is not the buildings that dispense justice but a system that enhances due process.


Coronavirus: If you act the goat, you can lose your privacy rights

PETER MWAURABy PETER MWAURA
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This is a sequel to my article “Why we don’t reveal the names of people infected with coronavirus” published last Friday.

The article provoked many readers to ask if the Nation practises what the public editor preaches.

“Your paper has disclosed names of Catholic priest Fr Francis Oduor and Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, and you continue to refer to Fr Oduor as a ‘reckless priest’ (‘59 people in contact with reckless Siaya priest put on self-quarantine’ — Daily Nation, March 24, 2020),” says Wairimu Gitau of Nairobi.

“So why this discrepancy between what you say is the law and what your esteemed paper is doing?”

Ann Margaret Wangui is equally concerned: “It’s said that no mention of names of those who are infected. So why is the Father being mentioned?”

And the owner of telephone number 0721 428 XXX, who texted without giving his or her name, said my article does not make sense: “What you’re explaining doesn’t hold water because you (the Nation) have stigmatised the Catholic priest. His name has been in the media every day. You’re saying he’s reckless. How? That is so unfair. How do you people look at the Church as an institution?”

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PROMINENCE

Joe Okore, a communications student at Maseno University, gives a more detailed analysis in defence of the Catholic priest.

The true position is that medical confidentiality is not an absolute right and my article says as much.

“Revealing patients’ names can only be justified if it’s the only way of protecting public health,” the article states.

Indeed, there are many circumstances in which medical confidentiality can be breached with justification. These not only include disclosures in the public interest — in this case to protect public health — but also when they are done with the patient’s consent, whether express or implied.

Disclosures can also be made when the information is already in the public domain or is a fair comment on a matter of public interest.

And, more commonly, if a person commits an offence, such as failing to self-quarantine or observe a curfew, especially if he or she is a prominent person. Prominence equals news.

In general, if you’re a coronavirus patient — or suspect — and you’re behaving like a goat, you can be exposed.

Our Constitution only protects the right not to have personal information “unnecessarily” revealed.

So, because of what you’ve done, if it’s necessary to violate your right to privacy to protect the public interest, it will be done, with no apologies.

On Thursday last week, the untiring and forthright Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said a 66-year-old Kenyan became the first person to die of the coronavirus disease, Covid-19, in the country (“Kenya records first coronavirus death,” Daily Nation, March 26, 2020).

He said the man died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, in the afternoon.

“The man, who was suffering from diabetes, had arrived in the country on March 13 from South Africa via Swaziland (The Kingdom of eSwatini),” he said.

Did the good CS have to tell the public all those details? They may have been of interest to the public but were they in the public interest?

Was revealing such confidential details useful in arresting the spread of the coronavirus? Was the CS implying that only those who are old and diabetic are likely to die from the coronavirus?

These are the concerns of a lawyer who wrote to say she would like to remain anonymous because of her position in government. I share her concerns.


All must take war on coronavirus seriously

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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Kenya is entering a crisis stage.

The deaths of two more people to take the toll to three and doubling of infections in the past three days should stir up a sense of urgency in the fight against the coronavirus.

With the ongoing tests, the number is likely to spike, which would be a frightening scenario.

What is distressing is that the health sector may not cope with the growing numbers. Health infrastructure is limited and fragile.

Few health facilities have the capacity to test for the virus. Fewer still can manage the patients due to lack of training of health workers.

Funding, despite the best of intent, is still insignificant and more will have to be done to deal with deficits.

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It is in response to the deficiency that the government is taking drastic measures to boost health facilities.

Consequently, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced the government’s plan to recruit some 6,000 medical personnel to get to work immediately.

That is a positive signal. But it also comes with challenges. Handling Covid-19 requires specialised skills.

COMPLIANCE

Health workers have been victims elsewhere due to unpreparedness, including lack of protective gear.

We argue that the government must go beyond merely bringing in more hands. It must provide them with proper training and resources to manage the virus.

At the same time, the government has to step up public campaigns to contain the spread.

The curfew that started last week has gone a long way to minimise contacts, especially in the evenings.

But we note that some sectors of the society, such as boda-boda operators, have blatantly defied the directive limiting the number of passengers they carry.

Cynically, and audaciously, they argue that they have not been given appropriate guidelines on how to enforce the rules. It is simple: a cyclist should carry only one passenger.

Public service vehicles have largely complied with the social-distance rule, and so it behoves the riders to follow suit.

BE PREPARED

Crucially important is the role of the public themselves in observing the rules. Social distancing should now be the norm.

Observing hygiene at home and in public places should no longer be debatable. In all the efforts, everybody should be responsible enough to avoid sensational and false statements that create unnecessary scares.

We take note of Mr Kagwe’s concern about critics and cynics pillorying the government over the handling of the crisis.

Such is inevitable. But the government should be forthright and transparent regarding the actions and communication it gives out.

Citizens should get ready for the worst, and it is upon everyone to act responsibly and keep safe.


Fearlessness, service defined Ndingi

Fr LAWRENCE NJOROGEBy Fr LAWRENCE NJOROGE
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Last August, Raphael Simon Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki, the retired Archbishop of Nairobi, achieved a milestone by becoming the first Catholic cleric in Kenya to mark 50 years as bishop.

The Church leader, who often donned a maroon Ethiopian skullcap, was ordained bishop by Pope Paul VI in Uganda during the pontiff’s visit to Africa in 1969.

Ndingi earned the tag “fearless leader” because he defended the oppressed during the infamous tribal clashes of the 1980s and ‘90s.

He believed the government supported some ethnic groups against others and said so plainly. The cleric did not know the exact date of his birth.

According to the biography A Voice Unstilled by Waithaka Waihenya and Fr Ndikaru wa Teresia, the date of Ndingi’s birth was computed on the basis of guesswork.

Fr Edward Fitz, the priest who baptised him, looked at him and decided he was 14. So his year of birth was entered as 1931 in the Church baptismal register.

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Folks that have known him, including his sole surviving sibling Philip Mwania Nzeki – now in his late 70s – believe Ndingi was much older.

EDUCATION HISTORY

Ndingi’s story is of determination, achievement and service. His father, Nzeki Ngila, a respected blacksmith in Mwala, Machakos County, sent him to school in order to avoid paying the fine of a cow to the local chief, who was implementing government policy.

Ndingi’s first school closed down due to low enrollment. He then joined Etikoni Primary School, more than 20 kilometres away from home.

He passed the Common Entrance Examination and joined Kabaa Mission School run by the Holy Ghost Fathers.

Having passed his Standard 8 test, he decided to join the seminary in Kilimambogo against the wishes of his family.

Years later, Ndingi confessed that he found Latin, which was required for seminary training, challenging to learn.

Further training in the seminary saw Ndingi continue his studies in Tanganyika. He was later ordained priest by Archbishop JJ McCarthy in Machakos in 1961.

He served as a priest in Machakos Parish, Nairobi’s Our Lady of Visitation, St Peter Clavers and Holy Family Cathedral, where he doubled up as Education Secretary for the Archdiocese of Nairobi and Education secretary-general for Catholic bishops in Kenya.

He worked closely with Starehe Boys Centre founder Geoffrey Griffin.

An ecumenist, Ndingi had the gift of partnering comfortably with people of diverse religions and cultures. In the early ‘60s, he served as one of the chaplains at Starehe.

Ndingi also worked closely with Moses Mudavadi, then-assistant Director of Education in newly independent Kenya.

Decades later, as bishop of Nakuru, the cleric disagreed with Mudavadi, then a Cabinet minister, over the queuing method of voting.

But the bishop and the politician always held each other in mutual esteem.

As a priest, bishop and archbishop, Ndingi was a man of remarkable discipline, evident in his punctuality.

He was a sportsman, who loved swimming. And he enjoyed African and classical music, with a special liking for Fadhili William, Fundi Konde, W Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

He relished news analysis, listening to the views of others and giving his input in dialogical exchange.

LOVER OF KNOWLEDGE

It’s not surprising that for his studies at John Fisher College, New York, he majored in history and political science.

As a student there, he was greatly influenced by the preaching and books of philosopher and theologian Bishop Fulton Sheen of the Diocese of Rochester.

John Fisher College awarded Archbishop Ndingi a PhD (Honoris Causa) in Law in 1996. Archbishop Ndingi died peacefully at the Clergy Home of the Archdiocese of Nairobi in Ruaraka.

Departed from us as we battle the Covid-19 pandemic, he will continue to inspire many not to give up and to soldier on.

Fr Lawrence Njoroge was Secretary of Archbishop Ndingi, as well as his PA, at the Holy Family Basilica. He serves as Catholic Chaplain at JKUAT. [email protected]


Joho gives Mombasa mother with improvised mask Sh100,000

WACHIRA MWANGIBy WACHIRA MWANGI
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The Likoni woman who was caught on camera with her child wearing improvised masks while crossing the channel on Tuesday have received Sh100,000 to start a business.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said he was moved by the woman’s initiative to use a plastic bottle to protect herself and her child from the coronavirus.

“We saw a lady and her daughter two days ago at Likoni channel wearing plastic bottles as masks. It touched our hearts but the positive side to it is that she appreciates that something needs to be done to curb the spread of Covid-19,” Governor Joho said.

He said despite not having a proper mask, Ms Susan Kageha wanted to secure herself and those she loved.

“Hata kama ulivaa chupa [despite wearing an improvised mask made of plastic bottle], you were sending a message that people need to take care of themselves. That is the message we got here. You wanted to take care of your life and that of your children and family.”

Mr Joho appealed to Kenyans to borrow a leaf from the woman. “Our humble appeal to other citizens in this great country, learn from her. She did not sit at home with an excuse that she didn’t have a mask, but she improvised. We are not sure if it works medically but she tried to take precaution,” he said.

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Ms Kageha lives in Bomani, Likoni, with her two children, Rosemary Esther, four, (who was also wearing an improvised mask) and six-month-old Anne Naomi.

The water vendor told the Nation wanted to buy a proper face mask for herself and children but had to buy food for her children.

“Since I didn’t have money to buy food and masks, I decided to cut bottles and made something out of it,” Ms Kageha said.

A skilled tailor, she said she would start a tailoring business at Bomani as she waits for this scourge to end.


Emulate Ndingi, a colossus and human rights defender

By DAVID M. KIGO

Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi mwana a’Nzeki, the Catholic Church leader who died on Tuesday aged 89, strode across this country with a determination to defend human rights and still ensure Kenyans kept their deep Christian faith in a manner that belied his diminutive stature.

Alongside others, such as Archbishop David Gitari, Bishop Henry Okullu, Rev Alexander Muge, Rev Timothy Njoya and Rev Mutava Musyimi, the then-National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) chairman, they made up an unofficial ‘opposition party’ in the church during the 1980s, when the Kanu leadership was simply untouchable.

In many ways, Ndingi was a replica of Jaime Cardinal Sin of the Philippines, who headed the Catholic Church in the country during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

Marcos and our own Daniel arap Moi had similar traits: they were intolerant to criticism and their word was law.

It was almost anathema for one to criticise the despotic rule of Moi, but Ndingi did it without batting an eyelid and with his head held high.

Ndingi is best remembered for telling the government off over the 1990s tribal clashes in the Rift Valley that were nothing but ethnic cleansing — just as with Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.

It’s during those low moments of our nation that Ndingi came out guns blazing, while others, including some religious leaders, kept quiet as others were full of praise for the king instead of telling him that he was naked.

Together with the others, Ndingi kept the hopes of Kenyans alive. And just like Jesus Christ, who defied the scribes and the high priests to eventually get crucified, Ndingi kept true to his calling.

He at one time dared the Kanu leadership to arrest him and charge him in a court of law.

It is this concern for the downtrodden and the poor in the society that Kenyans will forever remember Ndingi.

For the present-day religious leaders, who have embraced the prosperity gospel and cannot, therefore, criticise the ills of our political leaders for fear of losing their largesse, Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki is the man they should strive to be.

DAVID M. KIGO, Nairobi


Don’t take Covid-19 pandemic lightly; you could kill everyone

MUTUMA MATHIUBy MUTUMA MATHIU
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The Covid-19 disaster in Kenya is taking a familiar, predictable, ominous path.

There are tens of infections every day, the deaths too are now three, up from none only a few days ago.

If it follows the path of other countries, there are going to be hundreds of infections, climbing to thousands in a matter of weeks.

The difference between the current and future infections is that those who are sick today are in hospitals with tens of medical staff caring for them, with oxygen and ventilators aplenty.

When the virus fully takes hold towards the middle of next month, there will be no hospital beds for everyone and most sick people would have to be cared for at home.

I have been listening to doctors, briefings and experts and I have formed a few firm opinions, which I wish to express.

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Kenyans are going about their lives normally, totally oblivious of the guidelines thus far issued.

Unless you are coughing or wearing a mask, they are in each other’s faces as usual. There seems to be some reluctance to maintain distance, as if doing so is somehow rude.

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE

People are still going to birthday parties and drinking in groups in their houses.

Young people, especially, seem to have delusions of invincibility, unaware that the myth about coronavirus not killing the youth, that the virus is a “Boomer remover”, has long been debunked.

Many people are still unaware of the dangers we all face; they have buried their heads in the sand, where they shall remain until, perhaps, the contact tracers kick in the door.

More still are aware of the dangers but will not change their behaviour unless they are forced by the police or the military.

Yet it would be so easy to do what South Korea and Singapore, which have disciplined populations, have done.

Populations that have no discipline, such as South Africa, where policing the lockdown is proving to be a nightmare, are gambling their survival.

Fact number one: if you fall sick, as one medic put it, you are a “lost case”. You will be competing for the 500 beds countrywide set side to support Covid-19 patients.

FINANCIAL MUSCLE

And not all those beds are usable: many doctors will not attend to a Covid-19 patient outside a negative pressure chamber, so, the bed might be there but not the doctor.

We are also competing for medical resources, including critical-care staff, with a much wealthier, equally desperate globe.

Our doctors and nurses are in high demand around the world. Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and find that we have been plucked clean. You simply can’t count on treatment.

And you can’t count on lockdown either. Being Kenyans, we are looking for a shortcut, and for someone else to bear the responsibility of forcing us to do what we don’t have the discipline and good sense to, even when it is for our own good.

What the government appears to be wrestling with is where it will find the money and the systems to distribute food to those who will have to be fed in case of a total shutdown.

I suppose the calculation is to try and restrict movement, change behaviour and delay as long as possible imposing a lockdown, which would force it to feed certain communities.

DIFFICULT SITUATION

Secondly, does the government have the capacity to enforce a nationwide lockdown, especially when the population is uncooperative, riotous and has to be subdued?

It would almost certainly involve putting troops in the streets, which, in itself, has its own complications.

First, soldiers are not trained to police; they will violate rights and cause serious problems.

Secondly, we are at war with Al-Shabaab; do you want to expose troops to an increased risk of infection?

If you have the virus running through the ranks in the military, how will you defend the country?

If we were all to cooperate, work from home, maintain social distance and only leave our homes when it is absolutely necessary, we can have a sort of voluntary lockdown.

My own sense is that, increasingly, it is becoming sort of clear, away from the press conferences, that we have a pretty serious situation on our hands.

Think of all the other returnees from abroad. Think of the tens of airline crew who served on flights, some of which brought the virus to our shores.

FOLLOW GUIDELINES

If one patient lit fires all the way to the lakeside and places in between, establishing clusters of disease, imagine airline crew who are young, social and likely asymptomatic.

Imagine the hundreds of innocent students fleeing the disease in Europe and America and unwittingly making others sick back home.

This is not a small problem; this is a big problem. And the solution is not ostracising our children and compatriots; it is a disciplined and deliberate personal decision to deny the virus new victims.

If you look around East Africa, everybody is fighting this same battle. Some are in denial, some are fudging the numbers, others don’t even have the capacity to test for the virus or the organised medical staff to advise them.

Yet their citizens continue to cross our porous borders.

We can reduce the number of problems the authorities have to resolve: wear a mask in public, do the hygiene thing and try as hard as you can not to get infected.