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How Kenya Should Ease the Lockdown

Kenya’s initial response to COVID-19 was highly praised as effective in suppressing the spread of infections. There is cautious optimism as the country prepares for reopening of schools and economy due to a daily spike in cases and fatalities. Researchers say there are number of preconditions that need to be met before it should start easing the current restrictions. Firstly, there is need for evidence that the virus is being suppressed. Secondly, the government must ensure that there’s robust public health capacity system in place. Thirdly, to reopen or restart the economy is a long-term process. It needs to be done sequentially. Fourthly, Kenya must remember that there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach and should keenly watch and learn from countries that have started lifting social distancing restrictions. Fifthly, the government must consider the fact that people are becoming more anxious. Sixth, steps need to be taken so that workplaces can make the various readjustments to maintain high hygiene standards. Lastly, a robust targeted testing regime that will employ a mobile app based surveillance for reliable contact tracing should be rolled out nationally.