Why a Lock-down Is Not yet Enforced - Kagwe

  • A photo of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
  • Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe has revealed that Kenya is yet to enforce a lockdown because it is not necessarily the solution and the implications will be heavily felt by the public.

    Kagwe was addressing the nation in a daily press briefing when one of the journalists asked why the country is yet to go under lockdown.

    In response to the question, Kagwe called upon the public to get a better understanding of a lockdown, "It is very interesting that people are asking for lockdown and they are unable to follow a curfew, I think it is very important for us to understand what is the meaning of a lockdown.

    "What would a lockdown look like because if we don't address this issue of a lockdown and what it looks like it is very easy to throw it around and say why isn't Kenya locking down the way that we hear other countries are locking down."

    A section of Mombasa Old Town.
    A section of Mombasa Old Town.

    While a lockdown has worked in some nations like China to flatten the Coronavirus infection curve, its effect is yet to be felt in Italy who are on their third week of lockdown but reported over 900 deaths on Friday, March 28.

    The former Nyeri Senator of Nyeri noted that a lockdown is not necessarily the solution, "In a manner of speaking, a lockdown is not a name or word that necessarily contemplates a situation where people are now safe.

    "What contemplates a situation is safe is doing what the government is saying because you can say that people go to their homes at 7 o'clock in a curfew and you are supposed to go there by 7 o'clock."

    South Africa and Zimbabwe are the latest countries from Africa to enforce a lockdown following a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.

    Kagwe added that the public will suffer under a lockdown, "A lockdown is worse than that, a lockdown means that you don't leave your house-period! The measures that we are taking are supposed to ensure that we don't get to a lockdown."

    Kagwe was confident that If the current directives are followed strictly, the disease can be defeated, 

    "If you look at countries with similar numbers and which countries are disciplined, they are not under lockdown. Lets not just talk about a lockdown. It is so important for us to understand what does this means."

    The common Mwananchi is also being factored in when considering a lockdown, "What does it mean to a person who is going to work in the morning and buys sukuma wiki as he goes home?

    "So even as we talk about lockdowns the government is working very hard to look at all structures. The president has directed that we look at all scenarios and we are doing that."