How Covid-19 has ravaged the Nairobi city Assembly

Thursday, April 8th, 2021 00:00 |
Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo. Photo/PD/File

A tweet by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wishing a Nairobi County Nominated Ward Rep Catherine Okoth quick recovery has brought to the fore the sheer scale of the Covid-19 pandemic at the Assembly.

“We pray for our Nairobi County ODM chairlady and Nominated MCA Hon Catherine Okoth, who is admitted at a Nairobi hospital. We wish her quick recovery,” the tweet.

Okoth is among about 50 Members of County Assembly (MCAs) who have contracted the disease, since the third wave struck the country early this year.

Speaking on Tuesday, Leader of Majority Abdi Guyo, who moved a motion to adjourn sittings, said the House was greatly affected, as most members had contracted the virus.  

Guyo revealed that about 50 MCAs had contracted Covid-19 since the year began, with at least 35 currently in isolation.

 However, four are still hospitalised in various health facilities across the city with two on oxygen support, while the rest are under home-based care.

Close friend

 “A close friend revealed to me he had contracted the virus. That is how I ended up going for the test and tested positive.

I contracted Covid-19 about three weeks ago and, unfortunately, some of my family members, including my wife, were infected. However, we were all asymptomatic,” Guyo narrated.

 The vocal Matopeni MCA shared his journey to recovery, saying that while in isolation, he did not take any medication but focused on a healthy diet, regular exercise and reading the Quran.  

“I also took time to rest, because as the Majority Leader I barely rest, since my attention is always needed in numerous Assembly businesses, not forgetting that MCAs also expect me to be at their service from time to time,” he said.

Unlike Guyo who recovered without developing symptoms, Health Committee chairman Peter Warutere shared his experienced when he tested positive for Covid-19 while in India.

Warutere had accompanied a colleague to the oriental sub-continent for medical check-up only for both of them to test positive.

“Immediately we arrived, we swere ubjected to the test and it turned out negative.

However, days later we developed some symptoms, which after testing we were found to have contracted the deadly virus,” said Warutere.

Warutere further said they went into isolation and were under serious medical check-up. 

“Contracting Covid-19 in a foreign land can easily kill someone, because none of your loved ones is around to support you. My body temperature shot to almost 40,” he said.

Tests negative

He explained that he only returned to the country last Monday after testing negative while his colleague is still battling the virus in India.

“I almost kissed death and all I can say is I am lucky to be back home alive and Covid-free,” Warutere said.

Another MCA who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity accused some of his colleagues of spreading the disease through reckless behaviour.

To mitigate against the disease, the county government has closed all non-essential offices for 30 days amid escalating Covid-19 cases.

Nairobi deputy Governor Ann Kananu said the move has been necessitated by the need to curtail the spread of Coronavirus disease.

 However, a spot check revealed that requests for people to work from home or work in shifts and limit access to City Hall by outsiders or completely locking down the county for two weeks have fallen on deaf ears.

Alarmingly, the precincts have few sanitisers and only one hand washing point.

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