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Kilifi Deputy Governor resumes work, turns anti-coronavirus advocate

The Kilifi Deputy Governor, Gideon Saburi (left) speaks as the County Executive Committee Member for Health, Dr. Anisa Omar looks on during the commissioning of a maternity wing and a surgical theatre at the Bamba Health Centre in Ganze constituency on Monday May 11, 2020. Photo by Emmanuel Masha/KNA.

The  Kilifi Deputy Governor (DG), Gideon Saburi  resumed work on Monday more than two months since he was forcefully quarantined, hospitalised and later charged for allegedly flouting government guidelines on the coronavirus pandemic.

Saburi appeared for the first time with his boss, Governor Amason Kingi, during the commissioning of a maternity wing and surgical theatre at the Bamba Health Centre in Ganze constituency where he gave a message of hope to residents in the fight against the disease.

Saburi, who has denied charges of deliberately exposing locals to the novel disease by refusing to self-quarantine after a trip to and from Germany, however steered clear of the merits and demerits of the case being handled in a Mombasa court.

The DG, who is believed to have introduced the disease in the county, leading to it being declared coronavirus hotspot, said he would be at the forefront in the fight against the spread of the disease.

He  took the opportunity to laud the National and County Governments in the area for their efforts that had led to Kilifi County to be declared coronavirus-free after all Covid-19 patients admitted at an isolation centre in the county recovered about two weeks ago.

“I laud the government for its efforts in the fight against the pandemic that has led to the flattening of the curve in Kilifi County,” Saburi said.

He called upon the residents to conform to protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 so the county does not have any more infections.

“I am going to support the fight against the spread of the virus to ensure the county remains Covid-19 free. Today I shall not speak much but I am back to business and in case the governor shall assign me duties as usual, I will oblige,” he said.

Speaking during the function, Kingi said he was ready to take leave following the return to work of his deputy after working tirelessly to stop the spread of the disease in his county that is currently under cessation of movement in and out of its borders.

“As you know, Kilifi was the first county in coast region to report a case of Covid-19. This brought panic and shivers among residents and the county government had to move swift to control the spread of the virus,” he said.

Kingi called on Kenyans to stop stigmatizing Covid-19 survivors saying the vice had led to people refusing to voluntarily avail themselves for testing for the virus.

“We have seen our neighbours in Mombasa shunning away from Covid-19 tests due to stigmatization. People need to shed off this stereotype and notion that Covid-19 patients usually die because Kenya has so far recorded more than 200 patients who had recovered,” he said.

“Covid-19 patients need to be treated as humans, and that is why my administration recently commissioned a Covid-19 complex at the Kilifi hospital so that those suffering the disease can received humane treatment,” he added.

By  Emmanuel Masha

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