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Coronavirus: Why The Panic Buying In Supermarkets Is Yet Another Disaster

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Minutes after Kenyan government confirmed the first case of Coronavirus that has since been declared a pandemic, many people were sent into panic and thronged the supermarkets mostly in Nairobi the capital city.

Basic commodities were quickly sold out as many shopped for the fear of unknown and possibly anticipating a lockdown like its in Italy and other worst hit countries.

Hand sanitizers is sold out in most outlets across the city with face masks becoming the hottest selling cakes. In minutes, the masks previously sold at sh500 had shot up to sh1,000 with many willing to pay.

With corny traders taking advantage of the situation, the government has warned retailers against hoarding or increasing prices of commodities.

As many people rush to the supermarkets and other retail outlets, the big crowd pose yet another danger of infections. One of the precautions given by WHO is avoiding overcrowded places and that includes supermarkets. Government has already banned any public gathering.

Panicked Kenyans going on bulk shopping after Coronavirus case confirmation.

In the case of overcrowded supermarkets, it could only take one undetected case of Coronavirus to spread to a bigger population. It can easily spread if a patient coughs or touches surfaces, the trolleys in the supermarkets etc.

Badic hygiene therefore need to be adhered to including washing hands with soap or any other sanitizer. Supermarkets staff who’re now in the forefront need to be well equipped with safety material to avoid getting exposed and frequent sanitizing of the premises.

Kenyans must at all times follow the instructions given by the government and relevant although bodies like the WHO and CDC as measures to contain the virus continues.

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Goverment has already sent Rapid response unit to Ongata Rongai where the positively tested lady was staying in a bid to isolate those she might have come into contact with. Government has also said most of the people she cane into contact with since lending have ended traced and under watch.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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