Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony on Sunday unveiled mass COVID-19 testing equipment which were capable of taking approximately 2,000 tests daily.
Taking to his twitter, the governor indicated that he had purchased the equipment to aid in speeding up the tests thus the county did not need to send the samples to Kisumu for analysis.
“The equipment is top-notch and the KEMRI lab in Kericho is one-of-its-own kind. We no longer need to send any samples of suspected persons to Kisumu or Nairobi for analysis,” Chepkwony wrote.
KERICHO COUNTYREADY FOR MASS #Covid_19 TESTING. THREAD
I am proud to unveil mass COVID-19 testing at the KEMRI/Walter Reed Laboratory in Kericho today.
We are proud of our collaboration with KEMRI which means that we can now conduct up to 2000 COVID19 tests per day. pic.twitter.com/ctw99HQYCE
— Prof. Paul Kiprono Chepkwony (@GVNChepkwony) April 24, 2020
He was however put on the spot by the US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter who revealed that the equipment had been donated by the US and faulted the governor for failing to give them credit.
“I have never once heard who bought this equipment. You mean this equipment bought by the USA unveiled January 30, 2020?” McCarter posted.
I would wish to know how much the county invested in this project…kemri/Walter reed is funded by USA any word bwana @USAmbKenya
— David k siele (@DavidSiele) April 25, 2020
Following the blast, Kericho governor was forced to clarify an acknowledge that the equipment had been donated, a move that ignited mixed reactions from citizens who castigate the governor for taking advantage of COVID-19 menace in the country to engage in publicity stunts and PR.
“Yes, indeed Amb McCarter. I acknowledge and appreciate the huge role that the United States has played in this process as I mentioned in my statement attached. What we launched yesterday was the deployment of this equipment towards mass testing for COVID-19. It was not possible to launch testing immediately because the equipment had to be reconfigured and reagents for use in testing of COVID-19 needed to be procured as well to enable the tests to take place,” said Governor Chepkwony.
As of yesterday, COVID-19 cases stand at 355, with 14 fatalities reported and 106 recoveries.
Here are some reactions from twitter:
Not true. The statement I read was clear that the Governor was launching Mass Testing and not the equipment itself. Read!! https://t.co/8wSTmB2PA9
— Kericho Pundit (@KerichoP) April 27, 2020
— Amb. Stephen (@S_kibandi) April 27, 2020
Before we even knew it, the US govt donated some Mass Testing equipment and the US Ambassador @USAmbKenya launched them… Am shocked how our very own Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony is launching that for the 2nd time 😏 😏
Kenyan leaders though 🤦♀️🙄 pic.twitter.com/HD4uqR1PX7
— Jane_Kyalo (@Jane_nkyalo) April 26, 2020