Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe announced today that 5 more Kenyans have tested positive after analysis of 504 samples; Kenya’s number of cases now 189. He added that 10 more people to be discharged from Mbagathi hospital after testing negative: number of recoveries now 22.

Meanwhile, government has gazetted COVID-19 related regulations which include hefty penalties for persons caught flouting directives issued in line with the Public Health Act. The penalties range from a fine of Sh20,000 or a six months’ imprisonment or both.

A Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 41 signed by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe indicated that some of the offences to be tracked are: failure to wear a mask while using public or private transport and failure to maintain social distance.

“Users of public or private transport and public transport operators shall wear a proper mask that must cover the person’s mouth and nose and also maintain a physical distance of not less than one metre.”

As per the new rules, organisations, business entities, traders whether in a market or enclosed premises are required to provide at their business location or entrance to their premises, a handwashing station with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser which is approved for use by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

April 9: MPs infection report disputed, Ruto urges obedience of COVID-19 rules

The government today responded to claims that some 17 lawmakers had tested positive for COVID-19. The Chief Administrator of the Health Ministry, Mercy Mwangangi, had earlier on Wednesday dismissed the report carried by some top newspapers.

“It is important to ensure that labs follow protocols (in revealing results), as it stands, we have no formal reports of (confirmed positive cases in private labs),” she is quoted to have said.

Meanwhile, head of Lancet laboratories, a private-firm which carried out the tests on some MPs, said: “The information circulating in the media about COVID-19 confirmed cases at Parliament is completely incorrect, misleading and should be disregarded.’

Ahmed Kalebi added: “In particular the information circulating both in terms of purported numbers and names of people who have allegedly tested positive for the COVID-19 is entirely false.” On Wednesday, a number of lawmakers posted their results on social media to prove that the reports were untrue.

Meanwhile, the newspapers in question have come under censure on Thursday morning across social media. Their common headline of “We Stand With Kenyans,” have been rubbished by Twitter users.

“We know your sales are down and therefore being SENSATIONAL or just outright malicious! Sorry to also rain on the parade of all those celebrating our supposed infections, it is lies, fake news! Anyone can get infected but in this case this is just malice by The Star on MPs,” Senator Susan Kihika, a Majority Chief Whip tweeted.

Deputy president William Ruto has also made his first coronavirus address tasking citizens to respect all rules and regulations imposed by government to contain the spread of a disease he described as a paradox. he touched on a range of issues including government intervention and the need for all hands to be on deck in the fight.

“Coronavirus can’t move, it needs our bodies to transfer from one place to another, curtailing our movement will hugely prevent the movement of this virus…”

“Every Kenyan should go an extra mile and ensure their family and friends adhere to the safety measures… let us be our brother’s keeper…”

“Our first key task is to assemble and provide a body of accurate and verifiable information to the public and to work with all partners including the media so as to empower citizens to take the right choices…”

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