The government of Kenya today responded to claims that some 17 lawmakers had tested positive for COVID-19. The Chief Administrator of the Health Ministry, Mercy Mwangangi, had earlier on Wednesday dismissed the report carried by some top newspapers.
“It is important to ensure that labs follow protocols (in revealing results), as it stands, we have no formal reports of (confirmed positive cases in private labs),” she is quoted to have said.
Meanwhile, head of Lancet laboratories, a private-firm which carried out the tests on some MPs, said: “The information circulating in the media about COVID-19 confirmed cases at Parliament is completely incorrect, misleading and should be disregarded.’
Ahmed Kalebi added: “In particular the information circulating both in terms of purported numbers and names of people who have allegedly tested positive for the COVID-19 is entirely false.” On Wednesday, a number of lawmakers posted their results on social media to prove that the reports were untrue.
Meanwhile, the newspapers in question have come under censure on Thursday morning across social media. Their common headline of “We Stand With Kenyans,” have been rubbished by Twitter users.
“We know your sales are down and therefore being SENSATIONAL or just outright malicious! Sorry to also rain on the parade of all those celebrating our supposed infections, it is lies, fake news! Anyone can get infected but in this case this is just malice by The Star on MPs,” Senator Susan Kihika, a Majority Chief Whip tweeted.
Deputy President William Ruto has also made his first coronavirus address tasking citizens to respect all rules and regulations imposed by the government to contain the spread of a disease he described as a paradox. he touched on a range of issues including government intervention and the need for all hands to be on deck in the fight.
“Coronavirus can’t move, it needs our bodies to transfer from one place to another, curtailing our movement will hugely prevent the movement of this virus…”
“Every Kenyan should go an extra mile and ensure their family and friends adhere to the safety measures… let us be our brother’s keeper…”
“Our first key task is to assemble and provide a body of accurate and verifiable information to the public and to work with all partners including the media so as to empower citizens to take the right choices…”
“Corona virus can't move, it needs our bodies to transfer from one place to another, curtailing our movement will hugely prevent the movement of this virus…” – William Ruto, Deputy President pic.twitter.com/t3w6SLiSSb— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 9, 2020