COPING WITH COVID 19: THE NEW NORMAL
By Ann Nyambura, published on 23 May 2020
Globally there are over 5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 300,000 deaths as of the month of May. But as countries like Germany, Australia and Norway reopen, some African countries like Kenya are hitting high numbers. On May 22nd 2020 Kenya recorded its first highest number of infections in a day. A total of 80 cases. This clearly showing the difference in the draft of COVID-19 infections around the globe.
During one of the recent daily press briefing by the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in Geneva he said “Make no Mistake: We have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.” And if the Kenyan recent figures are anything to go by the Director general might just be right.
We are on the verge of a New Normal.
So how is Africa coping with COVID-19?
Nigeria -With the need to maintain social distance and stay safe, a man in Lagos was sentenced to death by hanging via zoom. Olalekan Hameed, a driver, was given this verdict by Judge Mojisola Dada for the murder of his employer’s mother.
While this might have struck the nerve of the African people, it just goes to show how technology is been applied in the various sectors such as the judicial system during this period.
Burundi -On May 20th the country held its general election despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This move was highly unadvised by the World Health Organisation due to the disregard of the safety measures during the exercise. The government however responded by expelling the organization’s staff in the country and asking all election observers to quarantine for 14 days.
As the country ends the 15-year era of former President Pierra Nkurunziza the question remains, couldn’t Burundi hold on a little bit longer?
So far, the country has 42 confirmed Corona cases and 1 death.
Senegal- President Macky Sall announced the reopening of schools to grade 5th, 9th and 12th students on 2nd of June following the learning interruption from the 16th of March due to corona virus.
This is in addition to the “Learning from home” program authorized by the General Inspectorate of education and training.
This move calls for proper and strict measures to prevent the spreads of the virus among students and school administrators.
How well will they achieve this? Well, we just have to wait and see how it’s done.
Kenya and Tanzania- Following the increase of confirmed cases long Kenya’s boarder, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of its boarders to Somali and Tanzania. The move was unwelcomed by the Tanzanian government marking it as unfair and unsolicited.
This resulted into a boarder power struggle that is yet to be resolved between the two East African countries.
As the above countries cope with the different issues in a good or unsure way, it is clear that all the aspects of our lives are affected. Today we simply had a look into the judicial, political, educational and inter-country relations. But there are more sectors in Africa being affected by this pandemic. How well will Africa cope?
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