Kenyans a Worried Lot, but Believe State Doing Enough to Fight Virus

Testing for COVID-19 is carried out at Kenya Coast National Polytechnic (file photo).

A majority of Kenyans are worried about the novel coronavirus and support the measures the government has taken to contain the pandemic, even as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

However, those between the ages of 18 and 25, especially mostly in rural areas, do not think the Covid-19 pandemic is anything to worry about.

A study released yesterday by Infotrak indicates that 11 per cent of these young people are no longer worried, despite being worried before at the onset of the pandemic.

"This shows that the level of education and public awareness is still low in rural areas," said Angela Ambitho, the director of Infotrak.

Unfortunately, most young people who have contracted Covid-19 are asymptomatic and are likely to spread the disease without their knowledge.

At a time when positive Covid-19 cases are increasing in the rural areas, care-free young people, and especially men, may help spread the virus further.

Actually, 42 per cent of the respondents complained that lack of awareness about the disease will hinder the fight against it.

Majority of Kenyans expressed concern that there are probably many people who already have the infection but who are not aware that they have it.

Seventy one per cent said they were worried that Kenyans are not adhering to government directives, hindering the war on the pandemic. This is an increase of 16 per cent, with the most concerned being Nairobi and Nyanza residents at 82 per cent each, while the least concerned were residents of Eastern region.

Overall, 12 per cent of Kenyans said they were not at all worried about the virus, seven per cent said they were somewhat worried, and 14 per cent said they were worried.

The research established that Kenyans are more worried of the disease than before, "67 per cent are extremely worried about Covid-19 as compared to 50 per cent in April," said Ms Ambitho. This is an increase of 17 per cent since the onset of the pandemic.

According to the research, 18 per cent of the respondents said they were less worried than before, while it is only seven per cent who said they were worried as they were before. "64 per cent of Kenyans are more worried than before," said Ms Ambitho.

The most worried people are from Nyanza at 89 per cent and Western at 86 per cent.

However, Mombasa residents are the least worried despite being hit hard by the pandemic, followed by North Eastern at 76 per cent, then Central at 78 per cent and Nairobi at 79 per cent.

Nairobi and Mombasa counties carry the greatest burden of Covid-19 positive cases in the country and remain locked after President Uhuru Kenyatta extended lock and curfew orders for another 30 days. Mandera also remains locked.

Unlike in April when 40 per cent of Kenyans felt the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic was yet to come, only 28 per cent presently feel the same. The research shows that 34 per cent of Kenyans feel that we are currently experiencing the worst and 12 per cent feel that the worst is yet to come.

Currently, Kenyans are concerned most about the pandemic, with 47 per cent saying the government should address it as a matter of urgency. From the research, 45 per cent of the respondents said the government should look into food security while 35 per cent said the government should address unemployment.

"About 88 per cent of Kenyans are worried that they will not be able to make ends meet should the coronavirus persist, up from 76 per cent in April," states the research report.

Majority (68 per cent) of Kenyans believe that the government is doing enough to control the spread of Covid-19. Health Workers were applauded for doing an excellent job with 77 per cents of respondents agreeing.

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