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ODM leader Raila Odinga/CFM-FILE.

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Coronavirus: Raila cautions against handshakes, urges observance of basic hygiene

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga Friday urged Kenyans to observe basic hand hygiene following a confirmation of a positive coronavirus case by the Ministry of Health.

Odinga, in a statement to newsrooms, also cautioned against handshakes, reinforcing a health ministry advisory issued earlier in the day when Helath Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced the confirmation of a positive coronavirus case.

The ODM Leader urged Kenyans to support government measures in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.

“Let us keep reminding ourselves to do the basic things that will make all the difference. In particular, lets observe basic hygiene. Let’s remember to wash our hands and avoid shaking hands,” he said

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had earlier confirmed that a 27-year-old female student who traveled in from the United States via London, United Kingdom as the first case to test positive in the country since the pandemic broke out last year.

In this regard, Odinga who is African Union (AU) High Representative for Infrastructure Development urged Kenyans to cooperate with the government instead of undertaking practices that will undermine efforts to keep people safe, especially if the situation grows worse.

The opposition leader further said he will comply with the Ministry of Health’s directive to suspend all public gatherings which included next Saturday’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally.

The health ministry suspended school events, prison visits and church crusades for a period of 30 days.

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“These measures will definitely cause disruptions across our country. But we must adhere to them as the best scientific advice that we can rely on to overcome the danger. I urge all relevant ministries to continue to provide, as soon as they have it, as much clear scientific and medical information as is possible so that our people can be guided by science and not rumours that will cause unnecessary panic,” Odinga said.

This comes after Government Spokesman Colonel (Rtd) Cryus Oguna asked Kenyans to begin practicing “social distancing” to avoid spreading disease.

“The public is encouraged to adopt clasping their hands together or holding the chest as a sign of greeting, this will help us greatly in keeping this various away from our people,” said the Government Spokesman.

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