Uhuru calls for a Covid-19 crisis meeting

Uhuru calls for a Covid-19 crisis meeting

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday arranged a Covid-19 crisis meeting with governors as the virus was being wiped out as new infections spread rapidly.

The virus almost crippled the civil service, with more than 50 employees reporting on a parliamentary lockdown after being tested positive.

At the Industrial Area Jail, the death toll from the virus was 238, with 84 inmates reportedly infected.

According to government figures, a total of 13,771 people in Kenya tested positive for Kovid-19, with an average of 400 people infected with the disease every day in the past week.

Uhuru called on 47 governors to review the status of the cases after the state relaxed the Kovid-19 guidelines, which were due to be relaxed on July 6.

An increase in the number of Kovid-19 deaths and infections will top the president’s agenda with county superiors.

State House spokeswoman Kanj Dena said, "This session was called after an increase in Kovid-19 infections across our country. The disease now appears in our 44 countries."

On Monday, Civil Service Head Joseph Kinua warned that civil servants were not following the COVID-19 guidelines.

"Strict adherence to guidelines and measures issued to increase the effectiveness of disease management and to protect all Kenyans from its effects, despite tests that have revealed many Kovid-19 positive cases." Kinyarwanda said in a circular dated July 20.

Kinyarwanda said all government employees with pre-existing medical conditions or over the age of 58 should work from home.

This applies to officers working in the "S" and below job group.

“Where the concept of working from home has been successfully implemented, such arrangements should be able to deliver with clear objectives and to executives,” Kinyarwanda directed.

In fact all government meetings with more than four employees are going to take place.

In an effort to increase safety, Kinyarwanda says all quarantine or isolated employees should be declared coronavirus-free before returning to work.

Such officers are required to stay at home for seven days after medical certification and submit medical reports to their supervisors upon their return to work.

"The time spent in detention or isolation by a government official due to Kovid-19 is considered sick leave and is subject to the terms of public service and the rules relating to public service," Kinyua said.

Kinda directed that the Secretary-General be personally responsible for the effective implementation of the new directives.

New instructions came just days after Parliament was locked down, and after several confirmed cases employees were ordered to work from home.

According to the memo given by the clerk, the action was to allow the facility to smoke and purify.

Parliamentary sources told Star that the number of Kovid-19 cases has been increased to 50.

However, the star could not verify it independently.

Positive cases are often referred to as parliamentary staff and outsourced sweepers.

Most cases - according to our sources - are verified in a shelter where accounts, human resources and saco units are kept.

Most of the scavengers deployed in the shelter were isolated after most were positive.

"HR and Sacco were self-contained when we spoke with many of the employees who worked on the account. He was a sub-center," said a source, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the case.

National Assembly Clerk Michael Siali did not pick up our call or reply to our messages on time.

Last week, Speaker Justin Muturi began an exchange of information with the House, acknowledging that in fact the number was growing at an alarming rate.

"People know that the number of cases of infection in the country has increased in the last two weeks and Parliament has not been spared." Muthuri said in his Wednesday communication.

He adjourned all physical committee meetings and ordered all meetings to be factual.

"Subsequently, all committee meetings will virtually take place until called upon by my express authority."

Since last week Friday, Parliament House, including the Continental House and the Protection House, has been declared off limits and all employees have been ordered to work from home for the next 12 days.

Only a handful of key employees and Sergeant-at-Arms are allowed in the clerk's office, along with the rest of the staff, including assistants from the MPs working from home.

It is advisable to work from home from July 17, 2020 to July 28, 2020, except for officers who have read a portion of the Siali Memo, officers assigned to the clerk's office and the Sergeant-at-Arms department.

"All other offices in Parliament, including the offices of the Honorable Members, will be closed. Therefore, it is necessary to give advice to all the officers working under you."

In the clerk’s office, only one secretary was reported to be working with the rest of the offices, including the chairman shutdown on Monday.

From the Sergeant-at-Arms office, many have only hired security officers who are setting up the establishment and assisting the fumigators who are polluting the space.

MPs are allowed, but without their bodyguards, drivers or personal assistants.

However, things were a bit relaxed in the Senate, where most of the offices were partially open for business.

However, offices are only allowed for designated employees whose names are listed with security. No visitors allowed.

Since last week, authorities at the Nairobi Industrial Area Jail have expedited the trial of more than 2,400 inmates at the facility.

"The situation is not good at all. We're really sitting on a time bomb. We have 26 inmates, they share a 10 foot by eight-foot room. It's worrying," a source at the facility said.

SYRIZA MP John Wallook and former cabinet minister and caretaker John Cheruot are among the top inmates for the facility.

Sources said 12 victims were in room C2, 24 in room C3, 19 in room C4, seven in room C5, and 22 in room D1.

What is more worrying is that the tested inmates cannot be treated outside most facilities, including the University Hospital of Kenta.

"We brought in prisoners and remanded them daily, but the prison did not expand," an official said.

"We are all exposed to this deadly virus."

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