Editorial

CORONAVIRUS

Covid-19, the new abnormal of Kenya

Doubts on numbers, uncertainty of vaccinations

08-07-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo

In the field of health emergencies, Kenya seems, as the old adage goes, to have left the old road for the new one, before even knowing what it will find, but above all without having completed the previous route properly.
Let us be clearer: the pandemic has obviously and unfortunately not yet died down in the country, even if with every arrival of a variant there are cries of danger of a terrible wave and fortunately this does not happen. In the meantime, however, there are daily cases, a few deaths, and for some time now there has been a growing awareness that many people are dying of Covid-19 and are neither aware of it nor checked.
Funerals must in any case be conducted within 72 hours of the dear departed's death, and there is not always the availability to carry out a swab. Not least because the results may come after the burial anyway, so it is too late to isolate relatives and friends who have gathered at the funeral (although it would never be too late to give everyone a good safety swab).
In reality, as reported by the CDC, there are fewer and fewer tests available, and this is also shown by the Ministry of Health's data, from which smaller, partial and guiltily delayed data inevitably come. In the daily count of deaths, for example, data from April and May (!) are reported (and the Ministry honestly reports this). Not to mention cures, the dynamics of which are not understood and which do not seem to comply with the standards required by the World Health Organisation. In practice, most of the time, since the patients concerned are asymptomatic, the average time allowed for recovery has expired and there is no obligation to take a second swab.
So what should we do, given that everyday life is now marked by numbers that make little sense and that there are always very few symptomatic patients and it is easier for them to pass on before they even know they are positive and for asymptomatic patients to heal on their own?
It's simple: go straight to phase two, the search for vaccines, with a view to preparing a campaign that can produce different results from the first four months since the first Covishield-AstraZeneca doses arrived in Nairobi from India last March.
Since then, after injecting the first vaccine to government employees who were obliged to do so (teachers, police officers, employees of state and county offices), the response of the 'over 58' voluntarily called to immunise themselves has been very bland, so much so that the Department of Health in recent days has announced that it has not yet vaccinated 2% of the population.
Hope therefore lies in the vaccines. President Kenyatta, in his last speech to the nation, announced the arrival of 13 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines by August, while Pfizer is also moving to provide the country with more doses through the Covax programme.
It will probably be open to all categories, leaving out minors, and the vaccines purchased by the government will also be available in private facilities, to return part of the investment.
The rest is the uncertainty of the new path within the general uncertainty.
What is certain is that for now, fortunately, the massacre, as the return of tourism and a normal life in the country where there is less attention, because normality is an optional extra, is still postponed to a date to be determined.

TAGS: vaccini kenyacovid-19 kenya

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