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DP SPEAKS OUT

Why I haven't been joining Uhuru for virus briefings - Ruto

DP says he consults almost daily with Uhuru and the Emergency Response Committee.

In Summary

• The DP said they are making video and teleconferencing a big portion of government operations in order to practice social distancing.

• Ruto outlined measures the government is carrying out to fight the pandemic that has so far claimed six lives in the country.

Deputy President William Ruto speaks outside his Karen home on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Deputy President William Ruto speaks outside his Karen home on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Deputy President William Ruto has broken his silence on his absence from President Uhuru Kenyatta's briefings on the coronavirus.

Ruto, during a press conference at his Karen office on Thursday, said he consults almost daily with the President, cabinet secretaries as well as the National Emergency Response Committee.

"The President and the Deputy President cannot travel in the same equipment. That is why we have the same situation that we have currently," he said.

 
 

The DP said they are making video and teleconferencing a big portion of government operations in order to practice social distancing.

Ruto outlined measures the government is carrying out to fight the pandemic that has so far claimed six lives in the country.

The Covid-19 cases in Kenya stand at 179 with nine recoveries. Over 5,000 samples have been tested for the virus.

“In preparation for the possible escalation numbers of the Covid-19 cases, the government has designated and equipped different hospitals and facilities across the country," Ruto said.

The DP said the government is working with the World Health Organisation and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for approval of rapid diagnostic kits manufactured locally by Kemri to scale up Kenya's testing capacity.

“The government is working with Kemsa to stock-pile medical supplies necessary for the management of Covid-19 cases. The PSC is undertaking recruitment of additional health personnel including 1,000 doctors,” he said. 

Ruto appealed to every Kenyan to go the extra mile and perform their patriotic duties to ensure that their friends and family adhere to the measures given by the government.

"Let us not negotiate with our survival. The coronavirus can't move, it needs our bodies to transfer from one place to another, curtailing our movement will hugely prevent the movement of this virus,” he said.

The DP warned that the country is now confronting a situation that is fully unprecedented in our times.

"This crisis has completely disrupted our lives and taken away everything we took for granted. Normal is something we have to quickly unlearn and re-learn after the Covid-19 crisis," he added.

"We don't need a nuclear bomb to deal with coronavirus, all we need is to observe social distancing, wash our hands regular among other precaution."

Ruto urged employers to adopt a shift work system that enables staff to work at different times of the day or on different days to avoid congestion.

"Unless necessary, the rest of us must stay at home," he said.

The DP asked Kenyans and the clergy to pray for Kenya during the pandemic.

"Though we are going to celebrate this Easter weekend differently...Jesus died for us and was buried but he triumphed over death. I call on the Christian community and Kenyans to pray for Kenya," he said.

"Let's commend our nation to God's mercy and grace for us to overcome this pandemic. Our current situation has brought us its share of tribulation and heartbreaks, but what better time for us to consider our blessed hope in our almighty God for the assured victory ahead."