Coronavirus: Murang'a MCAs to self-quarantine after UAE trip

Monday March 16 2020
Test kit

A coronavirus test kit in its protective pouch is pictured in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 16, 2020. The Murang'a County Assembly has asked five MCAs who were recently in the UAE to self-quarantine for 14 days. PHOTO | JOE RAEDLE | GETTY IMAGES | AFP


Murang'a County has asked five MCAs who recently travelled to the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Speaker Nduati Kariuki said the ward representatives were advised to remain at home as a precautionary measure following the global spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease.

The MCAs were part of a women’s caucus that travelled to the UAE, apparently for training.

While no cases have been reported outside Nairobi, the assembly noted that the UAE is one of the countries with a high coronavirus prevalence rate.

“In line with government directives, members who travelled to the United Arab Emirates recently should avoid coming to the assembly for the next 14 days," Speaker Kariuki said in a notice dated March 16.

"They are also advised to voluntarily self-quarantine themselves for that period."


The Speaker also called off all meetings in facilities outside the assembly's precincts.


Earlier on Monday, the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) announced suspension of sittings in all the 47 county assemblies in the country for the next two weeks.

Secretary-General Kipkurui Chepkwony said the move was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive for government offices and businesses to let employees work from home.

“After confirmation of three cases of coronavirus in the country, we have recognised the gravity of the matter, and that it poses a great danger to our members and staff, hence all sittings across the country [are suspended effective] March 17 ... except [in case of] crucial matters that may require attention," Mr Chepkwony (Tinderet) told reporters in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

“We encourage assemblies to allow their staff to work from home and ensure daily tasks and responsibilities are completed without delay. In order not to leave anything to chance, we advise all county assemblies to apply high hygiene levels."

He said that should crucial meetings take place, strict measures will be effected to keep attendees safe.


Mr Chepkwony also asked all county assemblies to ensure availability of hand washing supplies and sanitisers.

“We are in talks with governors to ensure measures are taken to guarantee the safety of our people,” he said.

“We are aware that some assemblies have budgets they are yet to review and that others are supposed to pass emergency bills. [These developments] might force them to adjourn within a week,” he added.

The CAF official also said it was consulting on how best to ensure continuity in its oversight role, especially with the use of technology.

David Kiplangat, Uasin Gishu's Speaker and chairperson of the Speakers’ Forum, said: “We have decided to adjourn business until we feel everybody is safe. We will ensure the oversight role we play is not affected. We are in talks to utilise the teleconference infrastructure we have for smooth operations."

So far, Nairobi, Mombasa and Nandi assemblies have suspended sittings for 30 days.

Reports by Nicholas Komu, Onyango K'Onyango and Joyline Kemboi.