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Hold off any investment plans, Amref CEO advises Kenyans

Africa Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi has asked Kenyans to brace themselves for a long hibernation period in the wake of coronavirus.

Dr. Gitahi said the disruption by coronavirus will take months before life gets to back normal.

“This pandemic is not a short term social disruption but it’s going to take months before our lives go back to normal and start social gatherings,” he said.

According to Dr Gitahi, May and June are likely to be the peak for the virus with thousands of infected people.

“This is a marathon. Brace yourselves, fellow humans. It is going to be months of public health measures of physical distance with banned gatherings. My conservative guess is four-five months from now,” he said.

He advised Kenyans to hold off any investment and future plans and spend money wisely during the hibernation period.

“Hibernation in human terms would mean stay indoors, reduce unnecessary expenditure, conserve the little cash you have, stop capital expenditure and asset investment, support each other,” he said.

“If you had planned to start a new project/business, rethink those plans unless they are directly responding or beneficial to the Covid-19 response. Follow these steps, thank me later,” he wrote.

He further asked Kenyans to learn from animals on how to cope during hibernation.

“My advice, learn from animals that hibernate during harsh times. They hibernate to survive-remaining inactive, greatly slowing their metabolism and reducing their body temperature for days, weeks or even months at a time,” he said.

By the end of the five months, Dr Githinji noted that there will be a recovery period that will last for one or two years as each sector picks up from both social and economic effects.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health projected that the country could have at least 10,000 coronavirus cases by April 30.

“We postulate that we will have 5,000 by mid-April and potentially 10,000 by the end of that month. Those are the numbers that we are working with in terms of how we preposition our personal protective equipment, how we reposition our human resources and how we reposition isolation and quarantine facilities,” Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said.