Why revealing names and faces of patients who tested positive COVID-19 is risky — Health Director General explains

By Vincent Kejitan | Tuesday, Mar 31st 2020 at 15:51
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Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth on Monday revealed why it is not wise to reveal the names and faces of those who have tested positive for Coronavirus.

A caller stated that it would make sense to reveal the faces since all those who came into contact with the patients would self-quarantine but Amoth had a different opinion.

Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, Amoth said revealing the names and faces of the patients would subject them to stigmatization.

“We do not want these patients to experience stigmatization. We urge the public to treat those who have recovered normally,” he said.

Adding: “This might make those who are positive to refuse to come forth and tell us their contacts.

“Those who are in hospital have really cooperated by giving us names of people they interacted with.”

Asked whether the masks available are reusable, Amoth maintained that they should only be used by those who are positive or those handling patients in high-risk environments.

He discouraged Kenyans against misusing them saying they are scarce and need to be put into good use.

Amoth added that they can even expose one to greater risk if your hand comes into contact with the virus and you touch the mask and wear it.

Some Kenyans how the 7pm-5am curfew is helping the situation and Amoth said it is important since many people let their guard down in the evening especially while socializing.

“Curfew time was imposed because it makes scientific sense in that people socialize in evenings, that’s when they lose the sense of social distancing,” he said.

The DG further echoed Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s sentiments that those in Nairobi should avoid going upcountry for fear of infecting the old.

Earlier, Amoth said that the ministry postulates that Kenya could have 1000 cases by first week of April, 5000 by mid-April and 10,000 by end of April.

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