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6 Unexpected places you can catch coronavirus


Top 6 unexpected places you can catch coronavirus

It has been four months since Kenya recorded its first coronavirus case. The numbers have been soaring ever since, with the government confirming over 5,000 cases so far. Yes, there were lockdowns and curfews, but majority of Kenyans especially those in cities could not afford to stay at home. As a result, most people have been going on with life as usual.

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Here are places you frequent every day that could expose you to the virus:

1. Groceries and shopping

coronavirusWe must eat to survive, and groceries are among the items we buy every day. We also visit supermarkets and local shops every day for our supplies. Even though these stores have put in place measures to keep covid19 under check, you need to consider the number of hands that touch the groceries and other supplies while shopping. In order to keep yourself safe from coronavirus, sanitise everything you buy as soon as you reach the house.

Read Also: How to sanitise groceries at home

2. Lifts and escalators

Do you use a lift at home or office? Has the management equipped it with hand sanitizers and paper towels? Do they fumigate the lift every day? How about escalators and stairs; do you hold the rails when going up or down? Pressing the lift button as well as holding the escalator or staircase rail exposes you to contaminants, including the dreaded covid19 virus. If you must touch anything, ensure that you sanitise or wash your hands immediately.

3. The security booth 

Since terrorism made its way to our borders, security checks have been intensified. There are security booths in every building, whose task is to search for arms and any other small weapons that could put other people at risk. As is the norm, you must undergo security checks before entering malls, supermarkets, institutions, restaurants, hotels, and all major establishments in the country. These security checks involve opening your handbag for a quick search by the guard, emptying the contents in your pocket into the tray, writing down your name in the visitors’ book, or handing over your ID document.

While these procedures were put in place before coronavirus came, nothing much has changed even after physical contact became a deadly affair. Letting another person dip their hands inside your handbag, putting your ID card in a publicly shared tray, writing with a public pen, and keeping your ID under the desk among other IDs definitely puts you at risk. The safest thing to do is avoid visiting places that you do not need to, and always arm yourself with a sanitiser. I have seen guards who inspect cars improvise ways to conduct a safe search in a bid to keep the virus away in that they just ask you to roll down your car windows, hold your ID card for them as they take a snap or write down the details, while others provide sanitisers to visitors at the gate.

Read Also: Where to buy hand sanitisers, food during covid-19 pandemic

4. Mobile money agent shop

Mobile money has been touted as one of the safest ways to make contactless payments, but there are still some risks involved. ou must visit an m-money agent if you have hard cash that needs to go into your mobile wallet or need some cash to pay for things you can’t pay for using m-money. Some of the agents have put a bucket of water and soap at the entrance of their shops, while others have not. In addition, there are agents who insist on picking your ID card to read your details. The agent would take it, put it on the counter, copy your ID number, and then return it to you. To be safe, hold the ID for the agent at a safe distance. The face and other details will be visible enough.

5. Matatu

I once boarded a matatu and sat to a young girl of about 5 years and her mother. The mother wore a face mask but the girl did not. She was eating peanuts that kept falling on the seat, and she would pick them up and continue eating. Once she finished eating, she started opening my bag but I stopped her. She moved on to untie some straps hanging on my sweater, but I stopped her. She then spat on my palm and started laughing. All the while the mother didn’t bother or say anything, and I wondered how safe her daughter was. Thankfully, I had carried a hand sanitiser, wet wipes and paper towels so I used them to clean my hand.

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I am not always this careful, but it is important to observe caution when using public transportation. Not all matatus are maintaining social distance and the majority have stopped providing sanitisers or water and soap. Passengers are boarding with dirty hands. Given that it is difficult to board without holding the metal rods at the door, it is very risky to use matatus without personal hygiene products. Coronavirus is said to stay on metallic surfaces for 5 days. So if you hold that rod or anything else in a matatu, it is safe to sanitise your hands immediately.

6. Pubs and eat-in restaurants

Some dine-in restaurants have been opened. However, not all waiters and waitresses observe high standards of hygiene. Before you sit down to eat and drink, check whether they sanitize the table and chairs, fumigate the place, thoroughly clean the floor and sinks as that is the only way to ensure you are safe. In addition, avoid restaurants that recycle plastic cups supposed to be discarded after use or dirty glasses as that is the easiest way to catch coronavirus.

Where else do you think is a coronavirus hideout? Please share in the comments box below.


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