COVID-19 Precautions and Ministry of Health Guidelines

It is almost a year since the first Covid-19 case was discovered in Kenya. In the months that followed, we all waited for the Ministry of Health to share more information.

I remember a lot of us followed the guidelines by the World Health Organization and we had many debates surrounding cloth masks, social distancing and handwashing. With the scarcity of the one use masks, did we have enough masks for everyone? What about water? will everyone have access to water and soap? What about social distancing? was it achievable seeing that we all use matatus where we squeeze ourselves together.

What really worked was the daily updates from the ministry of health, as well as well as the daily reminders in the media on what to do.

The lockdown

As it was a foreign concept to all stay home, work from home and still have a curfew time, we all took time to adjust to this. We learned different things, learned new skills, read books, watched a lot of TV, but the uncertainty of things made us more worried.


Hand washing

The first and most important thing we had to do was to regularly and thoroughly clean our hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Washing our hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on our hands.

This saw all shops, hotels ,buildings install a water station with soap for every visitor which still happens to date.

Social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre or 3 feet distance between ourselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

This was a challenge for most of us, because we got to realise just how much we touch our eyes and noses in a day.

Wear a mask

As much as this rule came later on, I feel it played a role in protecting all of us. From the debate of using cloth masks vs disposable masks, to the questions of who should really where a mask, this has become a law, where it is illegal to walk around without a mask.

Cloth masks should be two ply and washed after every use, while disposable masks should be discarded after every use. Clean your hands before touching the mask and ensure it covers your nose and mouth at all times.

Other guidelines

What do you do when you suspect you have contracted the Covid-19 virus:

  • Seek medical care immediately.
  • Use face mask and other materials to prevent spread to family members and other people
  • Stay home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Report to the Ministry of Health through the Emergency Toll Free line 0800721316 or this hotlines numbers; +254729471414/+254732353535.