Curfews should be lifted and shifted to on-as-needed basis across Africa, according to Amref Health Africa Global CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi, for example, to combat localised outbreaks of infections.
Dr. Githinji, a member of the Commission/Taskforce on Africa’s COVID-19 Response, took to Twitter on Sunday, saying that in a surge, mass contact and curfew should move to a tactical, localized time-bound tool.
According to to him, governments need now ensure there is adequate oxygen, health workers, and funding, large-scale timely vaccination, and rigorous epidemiological data to determine whether short-term curfews are required as circuit breakers.
“Across Africa, curfews helped save lives & protect Health Systems from the pandemic because while virus behaviour is same night & day, human behaviour is not!” He Tweeted.
People have lost jobs as a result of the curfew, according to Dr. Githinji, and the Kenyan economy must be safeguarded, especially considering the pandemic’s impact.
“Police have used curfew enforcement for brutality & extortion 3) Compliance has waned – tactical time-bound curfews are more likely to be enforceable,” Dr. Githinji added.
According to the doctor, African countries must move quickly into the recovery phase, which will focus on large-scale vaccination and the building of resilient health systems.
“This also means continuous observance of individual public health measures like mask wearing in public, hand hygiene & avoiding unnecessary physical interactions,” he added.
“18 months on, its time to move from RESPONSE to RECOVERY while watching when RESPONSE is still necessary until everyone is vaccinated,”
Since Friday, the hashtag “curfew” has been trending top on Twitter, with Kenyans rallying behind calls to lift the dusk-to-dawn curfew that has been in place since the pandemic was first reported.
The Kenyan economy posted its first annual contraction for the first time since 1992 with 2020 growth estimated at negative 0.3 per cent.
This is according to data from the delayed 2021 Economic Survey covering the 2020 calendar year and which was published in early September.
The rare contraction in growth is largely a reflection of the adversity posed by the COVID-19 pandemic which hit home in March of 2020.
Only half of the key economic sectors marked any kind of growth in the period while the other half slacked in the direction of the general economy.
Accommodation and food services was the worst hit sector declining by 47.7 per cent on the back of COVID-19 restrictions which saw hotels, bars and other entertainment joints shu
The Treasury is nevertheless holding out for a strong rebound in growth supported in large part by the re-opening of the majority of the economy and steady rainfall to support production in the agriculture sector.