Raila family, aides given the all-clear after Covid-19 tests
By Jacob Ngetich and Roselyne Obala | March 13th 2021
Family and staff close to ODM leader Raila Odinga have tested negative for Covid-19.
Sources yesterday confirmed that a number of employees at Raila’s home and Capitol Hill office, as well as members of his family have so far been tested.
The former premier yesterday spent the fourth day in the hospital where he is being monitored.
Raila was first taken ill on Tuesday when he complained of fatigue before doctors recommended that he undergoes a series of tests.
On Thursday evening, his doctor, David Oluoch-Olunya, confirmed that the ODM leader had contracted Covid-19 and was responding well to treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.
Raila, whose last public engagement was on Saturday when he hosted a delegation from Narok County at his Karen home, is said to be in good spirits. He had returned from a tour of the Coast where he pitched camp for nearly four days promoting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) agenda.
Besides Raila, the Covid-19 test was administered on his relatives and employees including house-helps, drivers and bodyguards as well as office staff.
The staff include his communication director Dennis Onyango and private aide Silas Jakakimba who were with him in the office before the Coast tour.
By yesterday, the Capitol Hill office remained a no-go zone while Jakakimba, who was scheduled to fly out of the country to the United Kingdom, cancelled the trip so that he could be tested.
“All those close to Raila, including family members, took a test and they have all tested negative,” said Mr Onyango.
He added: “The former premier is okay and stable. He is likely to stay a few days longer in the hospital depending on what his doctor advises. All his family have tested negative; the family was not around when he arrived from the Coast.”
Onyango said Raila “is in touch with a lot of his people out there.”
“The decision on when he gets out of hospital rests entirely with his doctors. The concern is not just recovery; it is also about where he would be best able to get good rest, which nearly everyone agrees.”
Some of the people who accompanied Raila to the Coast include former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino.
Raila began the tour in Taita Taveta County where he landed at the Taita Hills and Salt Lick Lodges airstrip and was received by Governor Granton Samboja, ODM MPs Jones Mlolwa (Voi) and Andrew Mwadime (Mwatate) as well as a number of local MCAs and party officials.
The ODM leader paid a courtesy call on the governor at his office last Tuesday morning before inspecting the ongoing construction of the new Mwatate modern market and an isolation centre at the Mwatate Sub-County Hospital, before addressing a political rally in the town.
He later addressed residents of Mbololo location before heading to Voi town for a rally.
Owino, who was with Raila for the entire trip, said he had contracted Covid-19 on December 1 last year and recovered from the disease.
“There is no need for me to quarantine. I recovered from the disease and my antibodies are still active,” said the MP yesterday.
In Mombasa, Governor Hassan Joho was with Raila for the remaining three days.
Besides Joho, other leaders who accompanied Raila were Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his deputy George Saburi, Mombasa Senator Stewart Madzayo, MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita) Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Zulekha, and Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh.
Yesterday, warm wishes for Raila’s speedy recovery kept flowing from different quarters, including Deputy President William Ruto who wished the former premier quick recovery.
“To Raila Odinga, former PM, Isaiah 53 verse 5 by Jesus stripes comes healing. You have fought many battles, you have always demonstrated courage and bravery. This too you will overcome. Quick recovery my friend. The nation is praying,” Ruto tweeted.
“I would like to wish Right Honourable former Prime Minister Raila Odinga a quick recovery. May God protect and heal you! We join Kenyans in praying that you will get back on your feet soon. Quick recovery ndugu. Godspeed,” said Amani National Congress party boss Musalia Mudavadi.
Jubilee Party vice chair David Murathe said, “All public rallies should be stopped with immediate effect. Quick Recovery Rt. Hon Raila Odinga. You will overcome.”
Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat also wished the ODM leader quick recovery as did Soy MP Caleb Kositany.
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