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Hypocrisy of the Kenyan Government in the Fight Against Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CS Mutahi Kagwe surrounded by journalists and government officials during a coronavirus update. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The government through the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has been singing the Gospel of preventing infections of the coronavirus, first by avoiding crowded places.

However, the government and the journalists seem to be the first to break the rule by congregating close to 100 journalists in one place.

A few moments ago, the Media Council of Kenya called for the suspension of live coverage of media briefing in a bid to prevent the congregation of a large number of journalists and media practitioners in one location.

Read: Coronavirus: Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau Under Self-quarantine After US trip

Every time the government is doing an update about coronavirus situation in the country, several media houses send their crew to cover the event. It is estimated that close to 100 journalists are sent to cover the updates.

CS Mutahi Kagwe surrounded by journalists and government officials during a coronavirus update. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]
In Kenya, there are more than 91 FM stations, more than 64 free to view TV stations and an unconfirmed number of print newspapers and magazines. This means that if half of radio and TV stations send at least two people to cover the events, there will be at least 70 journalists covering the event, This is an already overcrowded area, where the disease can easily be transmitted.

The council also recommended that instead of the live coverage, the state should facilitate the provision of live feeds to the media for communication to the masses.

Read: Coronavirus: Media Council Calls for the Cancellation of Live Press Conferences to Protect Media Practitioners

This is the best practice in such times, that can help the government walk the talk.

Whether the journalists wash their hands or not, it still remains one of the riskiest congregations since no one has protective clothing, in case there is a mutant case.

In such a scenario, in case there is one case of coronavirus, if s/he sneezes, there will be several infections.

A reporter from ABC news, a CBS news correspondent tested positive for the coronavirus early Wednesday, meaning Kenyan journalists and government officials are not an exception.

Yesterday, while governor Mike Sonko was officially handing over some county functions to the national government, all government officials did not shake hands. Avoiding body contact is another way of preventing the spread of coronavirus. It was a thumbs up for avoiding the handshakes.

Read: COTU SG Atwoli Under Fire After Claiming Kenyans Are Dramatizing Coronavirus Pandemic

However, during the signing of the deeds, the officials exchanged documents without even sanitizing first. This means that if one of them had coronavirus, it could have been easily transmitted to those handling the government.

This is a show of a government that preaches water and takes wine.

Currently, there are seven confirmed cases in Kenya, with several other people quarantined over suspected infections.

Globally, close to 220,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported and over 9200 deaths.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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