Kilifi County governor Amason Kingi has gone into self-quarantine after it was confirmed on Sunday that his deputy, Gideon Saburi, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Saburi had travelled to Germany earlier in the month but is reported to have refused to go into self-quarantine upon his return. The governor confirmed that he had come into contact with his deputy.
"I came into direct contact with the patient and as the coronavirus protocols demand, I have placed myself under self-quarantine from Thursday. I also had the emergency response team visit me at my home to collect a specimen for testing. I got my results and they are negative," Kingi revealed in a statement.
Kingi, who is on his 4th-day of self-quarantine, said his deputy was meant to attend a conference in Germany but the conference was cancelled before the travel date.
"We cleared him to travel, he was meant to attend a promotional tour with my CEC Tourism. But before the date of the travel, we got a notification that the meeting had been cancelled because of coronavirus. With that I knew no one was traveling only to learn later that he had traveled," Kingi said.
On Sunday, while updating Kenyans on the spread of the coronavirus, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the Kilifi county government official will be charged in court for violating provisions of the Public Health Act and the government directive.
Saburi was arrested and taken into forcible isolation after he failed to self-quarantine for 14 days when he returned from the international trip as directed by the government to contain the virus.
"All persons who violate the self-quarantine requirement will be forcefully quarantined for a full 14 days at their cost and thereafter arrested and charged in accordance with Public Health Act," Kagwe warned on Sunday.
"This will apply to a senior government official in Kilifi who defied and refused to self-quarantine, who is now being forcefully being quarantined at a facility and upon the completion of the period given by our health authority, the person will be charged," Kagwe added.
The Kilifi deputy governor is among the eight people who were confirmed by Kagwe on Sunday to have also tested positive to Covid- 19 in the country, increasing Kenya's confirmed cases to 15.
In the media briefing, the health CS said the patients, who comprise of five Kenyans, two French nationals and a Mexican, have been isolated, with one foreigner in critical condition to be airlifted to Nairobi for further treatment.
At the same time, the government is tracing 363 people who came in contact with the eight new coronavirus patients for testing and potential isolation.