Ministry denies claims CS Matiangi is ‘critically ill’ with Covid-19
By Mireri Junior
| July 24th 2020
The Ministry of Interior and Coordination has dismissed reports appearing on various social media platforms that Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has been hospitalised with Covid-19.
“To all members of the public, please disregard the fake news and misinformation being spread on various outlets that CS Matiang’i is hospitalised. The claims are completely untrue,” the ministry said on Friday
The rumours emerged online between Wednesday and Friday following media reports indicating that some unnamed Cabinet secretaries had contracted Covid-19 and were in self-isolation.
Matiang’i has not been seen in the public for days with his last public function being July 16 when he met National Transport and Safety Authority chairperson Agnes Odhiambo and director-general George Njao to discuss the full automation of services for efficient road safety.
“Earlier today, I met NTSA Chairperson, Agnes Odhiambo, and Director General, George Njao to discuss the full automation of services for an efficient road safety system. We also discussed how to strengthen the legal framework to weed out criminals in the transport sector,” he tweeted.
The statement from the ministry came barely hours before Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna who had denied earlier reports that he had tested positive for Covid-19 revealed that he has contracted the virus.
Oguna said he contracted the disease after an assignment out of town and is currently under self-isolation.
“Recently, having come from an assignment outside town, I developed mild coronavirus related symptoms and got tested,” read a tweet from his handle.
"The results came back positive for Covid-19 and I am now receiving medical care and responding well to treatment at an isolation and treatment facility," he added.
Oguna has also stated that contact tracing is ongoing to find other people he might have come in contact with during the period that he was positive.
Oguna’s revelation comes a week after he refuted reports indicating he had contracted the virus, saying contrary to the reports, he was well.
"We have noted reports on social media purporting that I have been admitted in the hospital. I wish to clarify that I am well and just got back from an assignment out of town," Oguna said last week.
On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive barring all Cabinet secretaries from travelling outside Nairobi after a spike in Covid-19 cases across the country.
"You are advised not to move out of Nairobi for the next week until advised otherwise. This directive takes effect from the date of this communication," the letter sent to specific CSs dated July 21 read,” read a memo.
The media reports and President Uhuru’s directive reinforced the social media rumours with Matiang'i not being seen in government functions such as Covid-19 daily briefings.
The rumours circulating on social media indicated that Matiang'i has been admitted at Aga Khan Hospital after contracting the virus.
"Matiang'i was admitted at the facility after his condition deteriorated at his home where he was under self-isolation," read the reports termed fake by the ministry.
Kenya on July 23 recorded 796 new cases of Covid-19, the highest number of infections in a day, as the national caseload reached 15,601.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said another 378 patients had recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 7,135.
Despite the soaring numbers, Mwangangi said the government is in control of the situation.
“Our alert system shows we are in control. Countries that have been like Italy, which are overwhelmed, cannot be compared to Kenya. We have an alert system that shows us where we need to focus should the situation escalate,” she said.
The country has recorded 263 deaths after three more fatalities were reported on July 23.
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