Kenyans less afraid of COVID-19 even as infection numbers surpass 10,000

A health worker taking a sample for COVID-19 test./FILE

Four months since the first COVID-19 case was recorded in the country, Kenyans are now less concerned about contracting the virus compared to how apprehensive they were in April, a study has shown.

According to a survey by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA) Research Company, only 54% of those interviewed were concerned about contracting the virus compared to 71% in April.

The data which was collected between 2nd and 15th June 2020, in Nairobi’s low income areas, amongst 579 respondents through mobile phone interviews also show that majority of those who were anxious about contracting the disease were women and young people.

As much as they have less concern of contracting the virus, compared to April, most of them (54 percent) believe that worst is yet to come.

With the Ministry of Health encouraging people to go for COVID-19 testing if they exhibit coronavirus symptoms, 10 percent of the respondent were not willing to go for the tests with majority of them citing fear of the testing procedures a hindrance.

15 percent of those not willing to go for the tests are afraid of the social stigma if found positive while 11 percent fear forceful quarantine. Four percent were afraid of the medical costs.

Even with the daily COVID-19 briefings, only 13 percent of the respondents mentioned the correct number of infections and deaths in the country while 55 percent did not mention any. Five percent gave the incorrect figures.

This data comes just as the country infection numbers hit 10,105 on Sunday after 379 more people tested positive for the virus, with Nairobi again having the most infections at 209.

49 more COVID-19 patients were discharged pushing the total number of recoveries to 2,881.

However one more patient succumbed to the disease bringing the total number of fatalities to 185.