Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Tuesday, March 17 shared his perspective on the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), arguing that the confirmation of the disease in Kenya was partly a positive aspect for the nation.
While addressing the press in Machakos County, Mutua stated that the threat posed by the pandemic would shock leaders to be more intentional about fixing the Kenyan health system.
"The Coronavirus has equalized the rich and the poor in Kenya. It is a chance for us leaders to work on how to improve our health systems. It is no longer possible for anyone to travel abroad for treatment and this should be our wake up call to fix our health system, so that we can all get the best here, at home.
"There is some positive aspect of this disease. It is a good thing because it teaches us a lesson. When our bosses fall ill, they leave for London, UK, the US or India. Where will they run to? It shouldn't be that every time you are sick you are flown overseas. No one will accept you abroad. Instead of a politician fixing a pothole, they end up purchasing luxurious cars," Mutua lamented.
The governor also urged companies in his county not to shut down, noting that the local economy would be affected if businesses came to a standstill.
"Covid-19 is a serious but not necessarily a killer disease as such. There is need to counter-balance the competing interest of protecting citizens against the spread of the disease with the reality of protecting citizens against it's spread, with the reality of its devastating impact on our fragile economy and the socio-political ripple effects thereof.
"We urge businesses not to close but provide ways to protect their workers and clients," Mutua stated.
He also set up disease surveillance and response teams, approved a Ksh100 million emergency kitty to prevent an outbreak and urged Machakos residents to maintain hygiene.
"All public service vehicles, public and private offices and outlets are directed to provide handwashing facilities at bus parks, sanitise their vehicles, office seats, doors after every four hours.
"County governments offices will remain open and services will continue being rendered," Mutua directed.
So far, Kenya has confirmed four positive cases of coronavirus.
On Tuesday, March 17, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a National Prayer Day, acknowledging that the world was facing a serious threat following the global outbreak.
Uhuru announced that the prayer day would be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Video: Citizen TV