Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi has been put in isolation for the next 14 days amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.
Reports indicate that Saburi refused to self-quarantined after he returned from a Germany trip on March 1, forcing authorities to forcefully quarantine him.
“It is true he failed to put himself in 14 days quarantine but I cannot discuss more on this through the phone,” A senior county official intimated to Nation on Sunday.
Saburi had allegedly come into close contact with several area residents after the Germany trip in total disregard of the self-quarantine directive issued by the Ministry of Health as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.
The residents, who claimed to have shaken hands and even hugged Saburi, accused the leader of being selfish as he had put them at risk of contracting the virus.
It’s also alleged that the DG attended a staff and Cabinet meeting without putting himself under 14 days quarantine.
But Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga defended Saburi saying the DG had been given a clean bill of health by local medical practitioners.
“He told me that when he landed from Berlin in Germany for an official trip, he took himself to Mombasa hospital where he was admitted for three days, [had] medical check-up and [was] later discharged after doctors ascertained he had a clean bill of health,” Chonga shared on social media.
The lawmaker further said that Saburi had shared with him that he had not been arrested or forced into isolation.
“He says his status is perfect. He doesn’t feel anything unusual. He is sure the tests he has taken for the second time will put the record straight on his Covid-19 status,” said Chonga.
Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe had on Wednesday reiterated that self-quarantine is mandatory.
The Cabinet Secretary stated that individuals who fail to observe the directive risk a fine or a jail sentence.
“Effective today, any Kenyan who is travelling from outside the country must sign a legal form at the airport to confirm that they’re going to self-quarantine, which gives us the instrument to jail you if you do not follow the procedure. We will quarantine you forcibly for 14 days and then charge you in a court of law,” he stated.
Globally, as of Sunday, March 22, 308,564 coronavirus cases had been recorded while the death toll stands at 13,069. Kenya has seven confirmed cases with several suspected cases awaiting test results.
At least 95,829 people are reported to have recovered from the virus that broke out in the Wuhan city of China in December last year.