Rev Martin Olando, Principal of the Bishop Hannington Institute in Mombasa, has provided an update on how COVID-19 is impacting life in Kenya. He says: “I have been following the COVID-19 news throughout the world and learnt of how UK, Spain, Italy, France and USA are greatly affected.
“In Kenya by yesterday (21 April) we had 297 infections. The government is avoiding complete lockdown because of our weak economy. The government has introduced dusk to dawn curfew all over the country. For hot spots areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale which have many infections they issued a containment order. This means no going in and out of the said towns. Business and factories have closed down. Those over 50 years are advised to work from home, but this is strange because most jobs in Kenya are menial. So working from home is only applicable to the elite in society. This has led to high levels of insecurity because there are no jobs. Also all educational institutions are closed.
“We are getting used to online churches but Africans are visual (have to meet physically) so there is poor turn-out in the online churches. This has contributed to priests and church workers going without salary.
“Our health system is very poor and cannot cope with huge numbers of COVID-19 patients. If we ever have huge number of people infected as we have witnessed in the western world, we will die here in huge numbers like flies. We pray for God to intervene as for now it seems science is not providing an answer.”