The new normal, is what we call it, a word to describe how out lives have been changed and how we’ve had to embrace new and somewhat unconventional ways to go about out businesses, to keep safe from the Covid-19 virus. In Kenya, since the first case was reported in March, the mood and atmosphere changed. In March, April and May, fear and uncertainty reigned and everyone thought “I’m going to die or someone I know is going to die.” In June and July, it was tense, as people got to grips with the pandemic and got to know more about it, and in August, September, well, fatigue and a ‘don’t care attitude’ are understatements to describe the mood. As a side note, the virus doesn’t take a back seat or move hand in hand with out attitudes, it just causes destruction and takes all who are on its path hostage, and that’s becoming clear when we take stock of the last two weeks, with Kenya’s cases rising acutely.
When Health CAS Rashid Aman visited Trans Nzoia County, he said some Counties have started reporting increased cases as patterns of infections shift. Nairobi County had always been top of the pile, with Mombasa close by, although the Coastal County had recorded reduced cases for a couple of weeks August-September. Nakuru’s cases are also steadily increasing.
However, taking a look at cases in the former Western province Counties and Trans Nzoia, we see a concerning state. The Counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia have 2,060 cases as of Thursday evening. Busia has the highest number with 1,327, Trans Nzoia has 366, Bungona has 208, Kakamega has 159, and Vihiga has 43. It came as a shock that Bungoma County recorded 118 cases on Saturday last week, with at least 100 at the Bungoma Prison, and residents are going about their business as though nothing dangerous looms across the country.
The presence of the virus in the region was expected by some to persist, after the country’s travelling restrictions were lifted, given that many people flocked upcountry, albeit in stages, from hotpsot areas like Nairobi and Mombasa. This shouldn’t deter people from being careful and living on their guard though, we all have a responsibility to keep each other safe from Covid-19, instead of dealing with speculations and rumors saying otherwise.
On Tuesday, Bungoma MCAs took voluntary Covid-19 tests as fears of an upsurge in cases in the County persist, but, this can all be avoided if residents keep the Health Ministry’s infection prevention guidelines. We urge all residents in the region to take the possibility of increased infection seriously and keep the directives. Washing hands regularly with soap and water, social distancing, wearing a facemask when in public, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, sneezing and coughing in a handkerchief or tissue, disinfecting surfaces among others.