MY kindergarten child has, at least twice since the government closed down all schools in the country because of coronavirus pandemic, asked me when she will get back to school.
My answer was that as soon as ‘coronavirus’ is no longer a threat schools will be opened. She looked at me and kept quiet! Her question delivers a message that she is among thousands on children missing school.
Similar stories of children asking about how long they will be out-of-school, and why they do not see some of their family members are being reported from Iran, Italy, Spain and Ecuador.
It is a big challenge to give answers to the children especially about deceased mom, grandpa, grandma, and father. In one sad scenario, a child was told his mom was in the sky and he decided to look-up in the sky for the mother.
In only less than five-months period, since the outbreak, ‘corona’ is arguably the most widely used word ever, most covered, and known in almost all tribes and regions of the world, and it is currently, probably the famous word among all ages: Children and adults, quickly grasped by politicians, students, artistes, and ordinary people among others.
Because of its devastating impact on people, everyone wish coronavirus disappears as soon as possible so that the World gets back to normal life. In efforts to try to get rid –off the COVID-19 governments and communities are taking different measures as advised by health experts.
On January 30, this year the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic, urging governments to control its spread.
WHO says coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, and that most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow). At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.
However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments as WHO promises to continue providing updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.
In many countries, particularly the hard hit by the coronavirus such as Italy, the US, France, among others, authorities have opted for lockdown or curfew for some days as workable ways to contain the disease. The same applies to Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.
People are complying with the new measures but find social distancing nearly impossible both within their homes and on the narrow streets around them because space is a luxury. People response to health guidance in the country is not all that bad.
They have been copying with the situation gradually with many people washing hands and taking other precautions including social distancing. However, there are also reports of resistance to comply.
“Despite big threat to our life, it is a pity that some people still joke and disregard prevention advices from the health Ministry. People still unnecessarily gather at the hospital entrance to get into wards to visit their sick beloved ones. People should understand that any gathering puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19,” says President Ali Mohamed Shein.
Giving comments on the development of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Shein says that as the World embrace economic and social disruption, Tanzanians should avoid jokes over the disease, and take health precautions serious.
He emphasized “The available weapon so far against COVID-19 is to adhere to advice/guidelines given by health experts, and for religious believers to keep on asking help from GOD. Every Tanzanian, both in the mainland and Zanzibar has a big role to play to contain the virus.”
Shein warned, “Our ability to fight coronavirus is weak, therefore let us join forces to prevent from reaching the local population. Developed countries are already facing serious challenges because there is no cure as deaths and infections increase!
The Isles President says that the government understands difficulties in implementing some health precautions such as ‘social-distancing’ and self- quarantine, but the precautions are effective in keeping us safe from contracting coronavirus.
The Second Vice- President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi has emerged as an exemplary leader in the war against COVID-19 after voluntarily accepting a 14-day self-quarantine when he returned from Cuba. Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you–your family, friends, and colleagues – from contracting COVID-19.
It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus.
According to health experts, “as much as possible, you should limit your contact with people other than the family members/companions you travelled with. You should not have unnecessary visitors to your home. You should stay away at least 1-2 metres from people.”
If possible you should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
Ambassador Iddi says self-quarantine and implementing social distancing habit will save lives and should not be regarded as punishment or discrimination, “I had to comply and follow the advice from health experts as one of the effective way to control the worsening COVID-19 outbreak.”
Iddi spent 14 days plus extra days in self-isolation after returning from Cuba at the time when the Ministry of Health had imposed 14-day compulsory self-quarantine for people returning from abroad.
Self-isolation is about protecting others and stopping the spread of infectious diseases, and according to Ministry of Health, this means: Staying at Home; Not going to work, school or public areas; Minimize/not use public transport like buses, trains, or taxis; and avoid visitors to your home.