Why those exposed to coronavirus are going public

Tuesday March 24 2020

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot at a past event. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


As the nation battles to contain the spread of Covid-19, many people have gone public with their decision to test and self-quarantine.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, who was on the same flight as the fourth coronavirus patient, decided to self-quarantine himself last week.

“I felt a bit scared at first, but it got easy with time. I self-quarantined, although I am not unwell and not exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19. It feels so lonely to be in isolation,” he said. His movements are limited to a single room in his Nairobi home.

Asked whether he felt traumatised, he said: “This is life. Being in the same flight as someone who is ill is not something you have control over.”

Mr Cheruiyot had a difficult time explaining to his daughter about his quarantine.

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But he remains grateful to his family, relatives and friends who check on him daily. Mr Cheruiyot, Eldas MP Adan Keynan, Naomi Shaban (Taita Taveta) and Vihiga Senator George Khaniri are among members of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) who had travelled to the United Kingdom.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi last week urged members who travelled outside the country recently to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“I am not worried at all, just reading books and watching movies in my bedroom. This thing is not a joke,” said Dr Shaban.

When she went to Parliament last Thursday, she sat at the back, almost five metres away from other members.

She urged the public to avoid crowded places and stick to the preventive guidelines.


Mr Kenyan posted on his twitter account that he had completed the 14-day self-quarantine.

“Alhamdulilah, I have completed the 14-day mandatory self-quarantine following my return from UK on March 6. My thoughts and prayers are with families affected by Covid-19. Special thanks to my family, my constituents and well-wishers for keeping in touch,” he tweeted. When contacted, Mr Keynan told the Nation that he jetted back eight days before the country reported its first case.
“I was only lumped with other commissioners because we travelled together but I left them in the UK,” Mr Keynan said.

Prof Lukoye Atwoli, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Moi University School of Medicine, is one among the people who have shared the news via social media, while providing regular updates on their symptoms and conditions.
Although he has tested negative, Prof Atwoli said he still has to stay home for 14 days as he monitors his health.

“I have been travelling in and out of the US every month and when I developed a cough, a task force from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital tested me. Although it was negative, I still have to stay home for two weeks,” he said.
Keeping a distance of at least one metre and avoiding shaking hands in addition to basic hygiene, like washing hands, are some of the basic guidelines the World Health Organization has given.