COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Parliament in panic over MPs who flew with Covid-19 patient

Murkomen says some members flew with a coronavirus patient from UK

In Summary

•Reports indicate at least two senators and two members of the Parliamentary Service Commission were in the same flight.

•They include Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), George Khaniri (Vihiga) and MPs Adan Keynan (Eldas) and Naomi Shaban (Taita Taveta) and unidentified staff.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen
MOTION: Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen
Image: FILE

Panic has gripped Parliament after it emerged that some MPs and staff could have come into close contact with the fourth patient confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.

Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen revealed during a debate on adjournment of the Senate sittings that some members of the House flew in the same plane with the patient.

“In fact, there are some people who belong to this House and Parliament who were in the same flight with the fourth victim who has been announced by the CS,” Murkomen said.

 

“So, whereas 14 days may suffice, because two weeks as per our calendar, we would have gone on recess,” he said.

Senate adjourned for two weeks to assess the situation of the virus. Murkomen while moving the adjournment motion said workers who are paid per day, and who will be required to keep off work during this period, should be compensated to sustain themselves.

“Let us think about Kenyans in the Jua Kali (totaling to 14.9 million) who cannot afford to stay at home, or work from home, and even if they do, at the end of the day, they must interact with the end user, to be able to sell their products. How do we protect them from contracting the virus while still ensuring they earn a living?” he posed.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe yesterday announced confirmation of the fourth case in the country since Friday when the first one was announced.

“The latest case was confirmed today at our National Influenza Laboratory. The patient traveled from London, United Kingdom,” Kagwe said during a press conference at Afya House.

Reports indicated that at least two senators and two members of the Parliamentary Service Commission were in the same flight.

They were Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), George Khaniri (Vihiga) and MPs Adan Keynan (Eldas) and Naomi Shaban (Taita Taveta) and unidentified staff.

Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni said Murkomen’s sentiments were shocking and called on the members to exercise self-discipline.

“Speaker, Majority Leader has alluded there are some of our colleagues who traveled out of the country and who travelled back with the fourth victim. Even as we propose as a House to have sittings once a week, we need discipline in the house,” he added.

 
 

He cited the Texas Senator Ted Cruz who self-quarantined after meeting a suspected Brazilian case. 

 “If Mr. Speaker there are some of our colleagues, distinguished senators of this house, who were out of the country in jurisdiction affected by this disease, the prudent thing to do is to go into self-quarantine,” Omogeni said.

In the National Assembly, Speaker Justin Muturi ordered Keynan and Shaban out of the chamber after Endebes MP Robert Pukose raised concerns that his colleagues had just arrived from the UK.

“The commissioner just arrived from London. For the sake of health of the MPs, I ask you to order him to leave the chamber. This is a serious matter,” Pukose said.

Edited by Henry Makori