Francis Atwoli, the Secretary-General for the Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) is under fire for stating that Kenyans are dramatizing the whole Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, March 18, Atwoli stated that there was no need for lockdown as the situation can be contained adding that Kenyans are just being dramatic.
“We don’t want Kenyans to dramatize the situation of coronavirus or take advantage as if it is the only outbreak that we are witnessing. There are people who engage in casual employment, seasonal jobs or are on contracts of a temporary nature and are paid on daily a basis…We do not want them to lose their daily bread simply because we are dramatizing the whole coronavirus thing,” he said.
According to the COTU SG, there have been worse case scenarios in the past and the situations have been contained. Therefore, he perceives that COVID-19 is a scare that can be contained by medics without too much unnecessary drama.
“We have had outbreaks of malaria, tuberculosis and diseases like bird flu and Ebola in West Africa, which were properly controlled and dealt with. We should not close down businesses as if it is a time of war. Our medics are up to the task. Let us not dramatize effects of this disease,” he continued.
This, however, has not been taken lightly by the majority of people hence has solicited mixed reactions. For instance, some allude that the scare is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly hence conflicting with Atwoli while others were in his support.
According to Safari, a Twitter user, Atwoli is taking the COVID-19 pandemic lightly yet it has already affected business and a further spread would lead to permanent disabling of the said businesses.
Atwoli people are being sent home from their work places without pay and you are just quite …talk to the president to suspend vat thus the companies can pay their staff during this crucial time https://t.co/ORZhrCMPsB
— Thaddeus safari (@SafariThaddeus) March 19, 2020
Ideally, others alluded that Atwoli had no health expertise to determine what is serious and what is not hence should stick to matters relating to workers’ welfare.
Here are some of the reactions from Twitter:
The worst and reckless appeal to make right now. Atwoli is in his sunset govt should neither listen nor heed to this https://t.co/GVHzb8KNO7
— Brainy🇰🇪shot (@smairiti) March 19, 2020