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House Speaker Justin Muturi. /CFM-FILE.

Kenya

Speaker says only 2 MPs positive for COVID

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 30 – Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi says only two Members of Parliament have tested positive for coronavirus.

Without revealing the identities of the two lawmakers, Muturi said one has since been discharged after undergoing successful treatment while the other is still in isolation at home.

“I have deliberately given this information to reassure the public and dissuade the ongoing speculation,” he said in communication before the House on Tuesday, on the day a local newspaper The Standard published a story that there was panic after several MPs tested positive for the virus.

Politicians have been on the receiving end in recent days over their defiance in failing to observe the COVID-19 containment measures, with many often seen in huge gatherings.

“The media should desist from sensationalizing the cases in Parliament as though these cases were any different from the rest of the cases in the country,” the Speaker warned.

He directed House committees to desist from holding physical meetings and encouraged them to instead have virtual meetings.

“No physical meetings are to held without complying with the Ministry of Health guidelines and my direct authority,” he said.

Both Houses of Parliament have been accommodating a limited number of lawmakers in the chamber during normal House business sittings since the outbreak of the virus was reported in the country in mid-March.

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By Tuesday, Kenya had recorded 6,366 infections and 148 deaths.

Muturi however, advised MPs or parliamentary staff who might have got in contact with infected persons to take personal responsibility and undergo voluntary testing and self-isolate.

“The House has also amended its rules of procedure to allow virtual sittings. These are progressive measures for which we continue to implement for the safety of all,” he said.

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