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Don't ask which MPs have virus, just steer clear of political gatherings - Ministry

Don't ask which MP has virus, just steer clear of political gatherings

In Summary

• Dr Kuria said he had not received any reports of legislators having turned positive.

• "It is not important at this point to know which MP has corona or not, this will in fact contribute to stigmatisation that we are fighting to end," Kuria said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a recent Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group Meeting at KICC
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a recent Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group Meeting at KICC
Image: PSCU

Kenyans have been cautioned against flocking to political gatherings blindly.

The Ministry of Health through Director of Public Health Dr. Francis Kuria on Monday said individual responsibility will play a key role in managing the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Kuria was responding to claims that a number of politicians had tested positive for the virus.

The Standard Newspaper had reported that anxiety had hit Parliament after six legislators tested positive.

In an article published on their digital platform, the publication said other legislators who had come into contact with their positive colleagues rushed to get tested during the weekend, raising fears that the number of the positive cases could rise once their results are released.

Among those said to be in the hospital is a top ranking member of the National Assembly, who by virtue of his office, is feared to have exposed himself and many of his colleagues.

"A first-time MP is said to have contracted the virus after interacting closely with the colleague who is in ICU, while another is a Coast MP," read part of the article.

It also read, "There is a major scare. Many of those who interacted with him have had to go for tests, and this figure might even be high by Monday  when the results of the majority who voluntarily did the tests are released".

Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai  in the article said that the National Assembly's administration was not aware of any Covid-19 case among the MPs or members of staff, but added that since medical matters are a private affair, they would not know unless the affected publicly disclose their status.

Sialai said it was possible for legislators to privately undergo tests and not disclose, and as such, Parliament may not know of such cases.

 

“If true, it would be a matter of great concern, but as of now, there is no report made to us of any case,” Sialai said.

But Dr Kuria said he had not received any reports of legislators having turned positive.

"It is not important at this point to know which MP has corona or not, this will in fact contribute to stigmatisation that we are fighting to end," Kuria said.

"However all we tell Kenyans that it is all about individual responsibility. We have always said the person next to you might be positive so you make the choice whether to follow them in those public gatherings," he added.

Kuria said there has been speculation on the number of parliamentarians, clergy, judges or police officers testing positive for the virus.

His sentiments were echoed by Health CAS Dr. Rashid Aman, who said there are relevant agencies who would relay such information of MPs turning positive.

He said if indeed it will be confirmed that some of the legislators have tested positive, they will embark on contact tracing in line with laid down protocols.