Dagoretti South MP KJ grilled over claim that 7,000 are in quarantine

Monday, March 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media at Harambee House, in Nairobi. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Eric Wainaina 

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie  (popularly known as KJ) was yesterday summoned by police for allegedly peddling lies on coronavirus pandemic even as government warned that anyone who perpetuates falsehood will face the full force of the law.

Kiarie was summoned to Kabete Police Station where he was briefly held.

The MP, is reported to have claimed that about 7,000 people were being quarantined at a school in his constituency.

“We have 7,000 Kenyans in quarantine who arrived back between Wednesday and Sunday.

In Dagoretti South constituency, we are hosting them at Lenana School and Kinyanjui Tech.

How they got there and the chaos therein is a story for another day,”  the MP tweeted yesterday.

And in his daily update on the disease yesterday evening, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warned the law would catch up with anyone peddling lies about Covid-19 and causing unnecessary panic.

Without mentioning Kiarie’s name, Kagwe said its was wrong for leaders to perpetuate falsehoods.

The CS said there were are only 2,050 people quarantined in 14 facilities. He also announced that four more cases had been confirmed, bringing the total to 42. The number of the contact persons had risen to 1,426, he said.

More facilities

“Trying to gain political mileage out of a disease is as immoral as anyone could ever imagine.

It is the worst of what we can see in terms of political maneuver. It’s wrong, it symbolises everything that is wrong in our society,” Kagwe said.

At the same time, the Cabinet Secretary said the government was expanding isolation centre capacity in the counties and invited the private sector and communities to identify areas that can be used as isolation centres should the numbers exceed the capacity of existing facilities.

Kagwe said global trends were a pointer to what is likely to happen in Kenya if there is complicity in adhering the measures the government has put in place

 “There is no country that has managed to contain this disease on just existing health facilities and we know that going forward it is indeed very likely that our health facilities can and could be overrun by the demand and this is why we are saying that this is not a government issue alone,” he said.

He added: “The British National Health Service has been overrun by the demands of the illness.

If in Italy it has happened and even in America they are saying they lack this or the other, isn’t it realistic to imagine that it could also happen here?” he said.

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