The Kitui County Assembly on Thursday, March 5, 2020 during its afternoon sitting adopted a motion on the report by the house’s Health and Sanitation Committee on the alleged outbreak of the Coronavirus at some two construction sites in Kitui County.

The sites are Mutomo for the Kibwezi-Kitui road and the Thwake Dam. The sitting was chaired by the temporary County Assembly Speaker Mary Ndumbu.

The newly elected committee chairperson Philip Nguli assured the House that the virus does not exist in the county. “On the COVD-19 coronavirus fact-finding mission, I wish to tell the members and the citizens of Kitui County that as at now, there is no known COVD-19 coronavirus infection in Kitui County,” Nguli, who is the Kitui County Assembly Member for Miw’ani Ward in Mwingi West Constituency said.

The genesis of the report was prompted by the afternoon sitting of February 18, 2020 when the assembly resumed from the December 2019 recess after it was adversely mentioned in the House that there was purported outbreak of the deadly coronavirus at a construction site in Mutomo District within Kitui County where the site is part of the Kibwezi-Kitui road being constructed by the Chinese.

This followed some news in the social media that a Chinese national had travelled back to Kenya after going for a holiday in China in December and upon arrival had isolated himself and was quarantined at the Mutomo construction site while wearing a facial mask.

The workers at the site suspected that he was infected with the deadly coronavirus. Consequently the speaker directed the Health and Sanitation Committee to act swiftly, get the real facts on this purported outbreak and report back to the House within the shortest time possible.

In its report, the committee recommends that the County Health and Sanitation Ministry moves swiftly to put mechanisms in place in relation to disease outbreak preparedness by building staff capacity, putting up suitable infrastructure, setting emergency funds aside, and procuring sufficient pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals as precautionary measures.

The County Assembly Member for Miambani Ward in Kitui Central Constituency Alex M. Nganga emphasised that “the awareness should also be carried out in our schools so that we are assured that our children are also safe.”

The COVD-19 coronavirus began in mainland China late last year and has spread to more than 60 countries around the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said many world’s governments have not taken the coronavirus seriously.