Devolution ministry in complete lockdown after 18 test positive

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 00:00 |
National Treasury. Photo/File

The State Department for Devolution is the latest government office to be hit by coronavirus disease after its entire staff was ordered to self-isolate for the next two weeks.

Devolution PS, Charles Sunkuli said that a mass testing exercise done in the office on July 23 has seen 18 officers test positive out of 128 samples taken.

“The purpose of this memo is to request you to inform all officers working in your departments to isolate themselves for the next two weeks, from August 3 – 16.

I thank the officers who undertook the test and since the results delayed, we need to do a further testing after two weeks,” Sunkuli said in an internal memo dated August 3 and sent to all Heads of Department.

Sunkuli said all officers will be required to report back to office on August 17 for another mass testing.

But it is not only Devolution Ministry that has taken measures to stop further spread of the deadly respiratory disease that has been on the rise, the caseload now surpassed the 23,000 mark.

Parliament has also taken up measures to protect legislators and other members of staff.

One sitting

The National Assembly is only holding one sitting per week while the Senate adjourned yesterday for another 30 days.

Mid last month, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Parliament would be placed under partial lockdown in a move aimed at curbing spread of the disease.

The decision was to also allow for fumigation and decontamination of the entire Parliament buildings and MPs’ offices.

The move came at a time when an accusing finger was pointed on a number of politicians for engaging in reckless behaviour and showing little regard to various measures put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus within the general population.

In a move that grounded the business of key parliamentary offices, Muturi banned committees from holding physical meetings except those “urgent and sanctioned” by his office and instead directed MPs to embrace virtual deliberations as practicable as possible.

“Arrangements should, therefore, be made for full virtual proceedings of committees before resumption.

No physical meetings are to be held without complying with the Ministry of Health guidelines and direct authority from the office of the Speaker,” said Muturi last month.

Also last month, several organizations were caught up in temporary closures after some staff members tested positive for coronavirus disease.

Government departments

Among those hit included the National Treasury, Ministry of ICT and the Public Service Commission (PSC) where some several members of staff tested positive forcing the two ministries to scale down on number of employees going to the offices.

Leading corporate organisations including financial institutions and communication service providers were also affected forcing dozens of employees into self-isolation subsequently affecting service delivery to the public.

However, operations affected in the said offices have been slowly resume, with employees expected to strictly observe safety measures to stop further spread.

Three weeks ago services at the Public Service Commission were cut down from following cases of coronavirus confirmed among the staff.

The MEMO to all PSC staff and interns says that the commission will temporarily scale down its operation to reduce further spread of the virus.

The samples of 10 staff members turned positive for the diseases following mass testing of the entire commission fraternity.  

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