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Joho At High Risk As COVID-19 Invades Mombasa Governor’s Security Detail

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho with his Kisumu counterpart Anyang’ Nyong’o during Kenneth Matiba's sendoff in Murang'a

One of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho’s bodyguards [Left] his Kisumu counterpart Anyang’ Nyong’o [Behind] and former Homabay Senatorial Hopeful Silas Chepkeres Jakakimba [Right] during Kenneth Matiba’s sendoff in Murang’a on April 25, 2018. 

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho now risks having contracted the deadly Coronavirus following news reports that up to four members of his close security detail tested positive for COVID-19 days before his controversial flight out to Dubai last week.

According to media publications on Tuesday, a bodyguard attached to the Mombasa County chief reportedly tested positive for the virus when he and three of his colleagues escorted the governor to Nairobi for Senate hearings.

Moments after the sessions, he received test results which confirmed that although asymptomatic, the immunity-weakening virus was indeed present in his body.

The bodyguard and his mates were then swiftly evacuated and flown down to the Mombasa Beach Hotel, where they have since been quarantined.

Joho and Junet flew to Dubai Thursday on a private jet from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on a trip to visit their ailing party leader who had undergone a minor surgery in the UAE.

The results of the rest of the bodyguards are yet to be made public but as history has proven in past incidents like that of Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi earlier this year, there is an exponentially high probability that they too might have contracted the virus.

In DG Saburi’s instance, health officials who were tracing people who he had come into contact with following his return back to Kenya from Germany noted he had interacted with several staff members of the County Assembly in his office and further went on to attend a local burial where he is feared to have come in contact with several other people.

Joho’s test results from the mandatory test he underwent with his security men at the Senate also remains unclear as his team is yet to issue any official communication over the fast circulating reports.

Since the emergence of these reports, his chief of staff, Joab Tumbo has, however, been quoted by local Nairobi daily, The Star, saying the case has not been brought to his attention, adding that the Mombasa Beach Hotel is a government facility and therefore he would be among the first to be informed if any of the governor’s employees checked in for 14 days of quarantine.

“It would be difficult for a staff member to be admitted at the facility without my knowledge, again, if they tested in Nairobi, why would they be brought to Mombasa?” posed Tumbo.

Although Governor and his staff are believed to undergo routine testing for COVID-19 after every two weeks, Mombasa county is still second with the highest numbers of infection rates after Nairobi.

As at Monday, the county’s cases stood at 1, 726.

Forty-five health workers have tested positive since March, with ten per cent coming from the county’s public hospitals.


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