Coronavirus: List of MPs who are on self-quarantine
Legislators who were in the same flight with the fourth coronavirus patient have quarantined themselves.
The development came as anxiety remained high among other members and parliamentary staff who had interacted with the members on arrival from London on March 9.
Lawmakers who serve as commissioners in the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), together with Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, commissioners Samuel Chepkonga and Dr. Lorna Mumelo and other unidentified staff had travelled with the patient from London to Nairobi.
They include senators George Khaniri (Vihiga) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Taita Taveta MP Naomi Shaban.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan travelled back from London on March 6, three days earlier to the scheduled departure date.
Yesterday, Cheruiyot confirmed he was on self-quarantine.
“Appreciating the phone calls and texts. Not able to respond to all of them. I am well and relaxing at home in self-quarantine. Got a few more days to run. Stay safe and pray. Be blessed,” He wrote on Twitter.
Khaniri could not be reached for comment, but speaking in Vihiga yesterday, he blamed the virus spread on laxity by airport authorities.
“We are appealing to our people to follow instructions issued by the Ministry of Health to avoid the spread of coronavirus,” he said.
When announcing the fourth case on Tuesday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government was tracing persons who may have come into contact with the patient.
Sources who spoke in confidence said following Kagwe’s announcement, the lawmakers and the PSC staff opted to self-quarantine, while some have been tested for the virus that has claimed more than 8,000 cases across the world, and infected more than 200,000 others.
“Save for Keynan, who did not travel in the same plane with alleged fourth victim, Senators Khaniri and Cheruiyot and Taveta MP have self-quarantined,” the source at the commission told People Daily.
“Commissioners Chepkong’a, Mumelo and our staff have all self-quarantined and samples taken for tests at National Influenza Laboratory,” the source added.
In the Senate on Tuesday, Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), while moving an adjournment motion, told the House that the fourth patient had travelled in the same plane with some legislators and members of the commission.
“The decision to adjourn the House was reached by PSC which is recommended to both Houses, but it is not binding on us.
We are not a conveyor belt to accept everything that comes from the PSC. But there is a story behind it,” he said.
“The commission itself has scaled down staff. There is also information that many people had travelled. In fact, there are some people who belong to this House and National Assembly who were in the same flight with the fourth victim,” he added.
And in the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi ordered Keynan and Shaban out of the Chamber after Endebes MP Robert Pukose raised concern that his colleague (Keynan) had just arrived from the UK. Leader of Majority Aden Duale also alerted the Speaker that Shaban had travelled to London. Shaban walked out.