COURT REJECTS BID TO SUMMON HEALTH CS MUTAHI KAGWE OVER COVID-19.

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BY SAM ALFAN

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe will not be summoned to court over failure to file coronavirus contingency report, as demanded by lawyers.

In a ruling, Justice Weldon Korir said calling the CS to court was a kin to summoning a “general from the war front”,

LSK through lawyer Dudley Ochiel and Henry Kurauka, who represents two doctors, wanted the CS to table a contingency plan to combat Covid-19 and the ministry’s preparedness to deal with the virus.

And when the report was not forthcoming, the lawyers sought the summoning of the CS where he was to shed light on the country’s plan for prevention, surveillance, control and response to coronavirus outbreak.

But the Judge rejected the application and directed the matter to be mentioned on March 26 before the duty judge.

LSK argues that the CS had failed to prepare or enforce a functional public health emergency contingency plan to control, prevent and manage the importation outbreak and spread of the disease in Kenya.

Last Month, the High Court directed the government not to allow Chinese nationals into the county at any port of entry over the outbreak of Coronavirus.

In the order, the court said no one from the Asian country should be allowed in either by air, sea or land. The order also bars entry of persons from countries that have been designated as hotspots by the World Health Organisations (WHO).

Justice James Makau suspended the government’s decision to allow resumption of non-essential flights from China, pending the hearing of three cases filed by Law Society of Kenya and two Kenyan doctors.

“Conservatory Orders be and are hereby issued to prevent the Respondents from letting into the country by air, sea and land any persons from China and or any other World Health Organisation (WHO)-designated hotspot country that is adversely affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, pending the hearing and determination of this Application”, Judge Makau ordered.

The Judge further issued an order compelling Health CS Sicily Kariuki to prepare and present to court the scrutiny contingency plan on prevention, surveillance, control and response systems to corona virus (COVID19) outbreak in Kenya.

The Judge further ordered the ministry to trace and confine the 239 Chinese who arrived in the country and confine them.

“An Order compelling be and is hereby issued to the Respondents to forthwith trace, account, re-examine, confine and quarantine in a KDF facility and or a specially guarded medical facility, all the 239 passengers that they let into the country 239 aboard a Chinese flight CZ 6043, which landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on 26th February, 2020 at 7:29 am, until they are duly certified to be free from Coronavirus (COVID-19), pending the hearing and determination of this matter”, the learned judge further ordered.

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