Kevin Durant scored 23 points as the Golden State Warriors kept the pressure on the Denver Nuggets with a 110-93 defeat of the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
Durant was one of five Warriors players to make double figures as the depth of the NBA champions proved too much for Memphis at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry had 20 points and Klay Thompson 16 in a win which left the Warriors with a record of 21-10, just behind Western Conference leaders Denver who are 20-9.
Curry’s points haul took him past 15,000 for his career, making him the fifth player in Warriors franchise history to reach the milestone.
“It’s a really cool milestone, an unbelievable journey so far,” Curry said. “But it’s just more motivation to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m blessed to play this game, with great team-mates. We can all accomplish great things if we stay in the moment.”
Memphis’s scoring was led from the bench by former Warrior Omri Casspi, who finished with 20 points and was a constant threat to his ex-teammates.
Elsewhere Monday, LaMarcus Aldridge bagged a double-double as the San Antonio Spurs handed the Philadelphia 76ers a chastening loss in a 123-96 blowout.
Aldridge spearheaded a fine all-round offensive display from San Antonio as the Spurs improved to 16-15 at the ATT Center in Texas.
Rudy Gay had 21 points while DeMar DeRozan also had 20 on a night when the Spurs dominated the Sixers in all departments.
The Sixers slipped to 20-12 following the loss.
Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick had 16 points apiece for the Sixers, but Joel Embiid was restricted to 13 points while Jimmy Butler suffered an off-target night, making just three of 13 field goal attempts.
In Houston, James Harden exploded for 47 points as the Rockets overpowered the Utah Jazz 102-97 to extend their winning streak to four games.
Reigning NBA MVP Harden produced a dazzling display of scoring to delight the home fans at the Toyota Center with a win that took the Rockets above .500 for the season.
Houston are now 15-14 for the season while Utah have slipped to 14-17, one place off the bottom in the Western Conference.
Harden’s virtuoso display included six rebounds and five assists. Three other Houston players made double figures, with P.J. Tucker finishing with 16 points and Eric Gordon adding 12 points.
Clint Capela hauled down 14 rebounds to dominate the boards.
But it was Harden’s eye-catching display that dominated the postgame discussion, with coach Mike D’Antoni leading the plaudits.
Harden has averaged just over 38 points per game in his last five games.
“This level, the last three or four games are as good as he ever played,” D’Antoni said.
“It’s just the determination that he has. He cares. Every big shot. Every big play. This is an MVP level. He’s been that way the past week and for the right reasons. He’s been playing this way for a little bit.”
Donovan Mitchell led the Utah scoring with 23 points while Rudy Gobert finished with 18 points.
Elsewhere Monday, Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a 32-point haul as the Milwaukee Bucks maintained their pursuit of Toronto at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 107-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Antetokounmpo’s points haul included one spectacular driving dunk in the second quarter that embarrassed the Pistons defence.
Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to his points tally as well as five assists.
The win keeps the Bucks in second place in the East at 20-9, 1.5 games back from first place Toronto.
In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook bagged the 111th triple double of his career as the Thunder piled on the misery for the Chicago Bulls with a 121-96 win.
Westbrook posted 13 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists as OKC remained third in the Western Conference on 19-10.
Paul George led the scoring for the Thunder with 24 points while New Zealand’s Steven Adams added 19 points.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.