Siaya Senator James Orengo has publicly displayed his Coronavirus (COVID-19) test results following claims that 17 legislators had tested positive.
Orengo took to Twitter and posted his tests and screening results that were conducted at Lancet pathologists, which turned out negative.
“I took a voluntary COVID-19 test on Friday last week. The result was directly conveyed to me in person by a doctor. Tested Negative,” he said.
As a nation and a people we are in this together and must confront COVID-19 as an army. Fear of the virus should not be turned into stigma but into a resolve to fight the pandemic. Count me in the army. https://t.co/7LXj9OR8gc pic.twitter.com/yWe9PB9Gdp
— James Orengo (@orengo_james) April 8, 2020
Earlier in the day, panic had gripped parliament after it was alleged that 17 legislators had tested positive for COVID-19. Reports claimed that the special House sitting had been cancelled due to the same.
However, the Ministry of Health clarified the issue and stated that it was not aware of the information that 17 MPs had tested positive for the virus.
Addressing reporters at Afya House, Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi said that the ministry was unaware of the reports circulating online.
She also noted that the ministry was yet to receive a formal report on the 17 MPs.
“The ministry is aware of the reports in the media indicating a section of legislatures have tested positive, but as it stands now is that we have not received any formal report of the cases,” Dr Mwangangi said.
She also indicated that the Health Ministry was planning to embark on mass testing in government institutions including the judiciary and legislature.
According to the CAS, they will make sure to keep in mind confidentiality requirements even after carrying out the tests.
On Wednesday, two dailies; The Star and People Daily, claimed that 17 lawmakers and Parliament staff had contracted the virus.
The dailies reported that the legislators had either traveled abroad, come into contact with Rabai MP William Kamoti who has since tested positive for the novel COVID-19 or had interacted with Kilifi DG Gideon Saburi who is still awaiting a court ruling after flouting quarantine rules.
Lusaka, the Assembly Speaker however declined to deny or acknowledge the reports but instead noted that it was impossible to know who had tested positive or otherwise as the results were sent to the individual.
“The person who knows whether anybody is positive or negative is the person who has been tested himself and the Ministry of Health. Anybody [else] talking about it is just a rumor. I can tell you I personally tested and I was negative,” he said.