Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has asked politicians to be considerate when planning and addressing political rallies in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said as much as there are many issues that need to be addressed in the country, it was important to note that the health of Kenyans is paramount and urged the leaders to scale down political activities.
Speaking at the Malindi Sub County Hospital where he gave the ministry’s daily Covid-19 briefings on Monday, Mr. Kagwe noted with concern that there had been increased political activities in the country that could frustrate the fight against the global pandemic.
“We want to urge the political class to please understand that as much as we have got important issues in the country to deal with, we also have a higher issue to deal with, and that is the issue of people’s lives; and that is our first and uttermost responsibility.
“So, before we start making any moves, before we start planning political rallies, please think about the impact and about how you are going to manage it in view of Covid-19 protocols.
Mr. Kagwe reminded Kenyans that no vaccine had been developed in the world for Covid-19 and reiterated his call to every Kenyan to take personal responsibility to avoid being infected by the virus or infect others.
He noted that the vaccine being developed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kilifi in conjunction with Wellcome Trust was undergoing joint testing in both in Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK).
“This vaccine is being developed by Wellcome Trust as well as our own researchers here in Kilifi County. They are also in joint-testing both here and in the UK and clearly like in most countries even elsewhere in Europe, there are many trials going on.
“What we have urged is that whenever and wherever it becomes available then we are urging, and we have gone through the World Health Organization, that it must be made available across the world. It must not be held by some people while others are not getting it,” he said.
The health CS condoled with the families of Kenyans who had lost 100 loved ones to the pandemic in the past one week alone and urged Kenyans to stop saying there is no Covid-19 in the country.
“When you hear people saying that there is no Covid-19, you really don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. How do you explain it to a person who has just lost a father or a mother to Covid-19, and the doctors are saying this is clearly Covid-19, that there is no Covid-19?” he posed.
The CS noted that some of the people who have said that there is no Covid-19, have eventually themselves gotten the virus, and dismissed the notion by many that the pandemic was a creation of the government.
“This is not a creation. This is a reality. You cannot create something across the entire globe,” he said.
Mr. Kagwe lamented that there has lately been looseness in implementing some of the Covid-19 burial protocols and urged health officials, the police, chiefs and their assistants to ensure that those protocols are forthwith strictly observed.
He also urged members of families who lose loved ones to Covid-19 to cooperate with the relevant government authorities to prevent further spread of the disease
“I urge you that if you know that your loved one passed on because of Covid-19, you must protect the rest of the family and your friends by ensuring that you have observed very strictly Covid-19 protocols,” he said. Please do not play around with something that could be very serious.”
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi lamented that there has been a surge in the number of persons infected by the disease and called on all residents to cooperate with authorities in fighting it.
He said most of the about 700 confirmed cases had happened during the second wave of the pandemic and attributed this to the ‘don’t care’ attitude by some residents.
By Emmanuel Masha/Mercy Kendi