Kenyan Bulletin has received information from a cridible source that Ten Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff have been ordered into quarantine.
Sources say the agency has since put over 10 staff on quarantine after meeting Kenya Ports Authority staffers who tested positive. The 10 were also confirmed to have come into contact with several foreigners who tested positive for the novel Chinese virus—COVID-19.
Last week, KPA acting managing director Rashid Salim confirmed that two more KPA staff tested positive for coronavirus, sending 16 of his staff to quarantine at the Bandari Maritime Academy.
KPA and KRA staff are interdependent but work closely together, thereby increasing the risk of infection between the two agencies.
KRA staff working at the customs have since been ordered by their boss and KRA Custom Commissioner Kevin Safari to cease receiving paperwork from third parties in a move aimed at stemming the spread of the virus.
“To date, we have had to send nine officers on self-quarantine,” Mr Safari told the employees through a WhatsApp communication.
“Ask importers, custom agents and transporters to scan and email all their correspondence. Do not invite or allow anyone into your workspace, including fellow staff. Wear gloves, and face masks while on duty and if they are not available, buy them using office imprest. There should absolutely be no meeting of more than six people. Take covid-19 seriously. This time it is personal.” Safari directed
Yesterday, Kenya announced an additional five cases bringing the total of positive cases in the country to 189.
Speaking on Friday, CS Kagwe said 504 samples were tested and the five new positive cases are Kenyans with only one having a history of travel.
“They are two males and 3 females. One case was from mandatory quarantine and the others were picked by our surveillance teams,” he said.
In terms of county distribution, the Health CS said three of the new cases are from Mombasa, one is from Nairobi and the other from Nyandarua. Their ages range from 27 to 58 years.
CS Kagwe also revealed that 10 patients who had been admitted to the Mbagathi Hospital isolation centre have since recovered and will be discharged.
Since KPA staffer Ursula Bumula succumbed to Covid-19 last week, tens of people were sent on mandatory quarantine while hundreds asked to self-isolate.
The death of Mark Mbua, a general manager for terminal operation at Mitchell Cotts has also now seen the revenue collection agency, together with KPA tighten monitoring of its staff as they normally must interact with those from clearing agents.
Already, Mitchell Cotts has sent part of its staff on self-quarantine as a precaution, following Mbua’s demise on Sunday, as result of Covid-19.
Due to increase in cases of infections at the facility, operations are set to be scaled down further.
Kenya Revenue Authority is the latest agency to be affected by Covid-19. The taxman sued a controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi after posting on his social media accounts that a senior KRA manager had landed in the country and failed to quarantine.
Earlier this month, Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi was charged with posting false information on Covid-19 on Twitter. He denied the charge before Kibera senior principal magistrate Boaz Ombewa.
The blogger is said to have committed the offence on March 23, tweeting, “Cyprian Is, Nyakundi with, KRA CG jetted back from the US and started meetings before 14 days quarantine, but our question is, must this guy’s still fly out what is more important?”
The charge sheet says the information was meant to cause panic and fear among citizens, and maliciously injure James Mburu’s reputation.
However, soon after Nyakundi was released on Sh200,000 cash bail in the case that will proceed on July 2, he shared pictures of the dead KRA official secret burrial ritual as a confirmation of his past posts.
Last week, the blogger posted on his blog that KRA had allegedly hired the services of a black-hat hackers PR firm to troll him.
Kenyan Bulletin Senior editors are verifying all the details and correct names of the staffers. Stay tuned to Kenyanbulletin.com for more updates about COVID-19 in KRA and KPA.