Kenya: Govt Defends Dismissal of Kemri Scientist Over Delayed Submission of COVID-19 Results

Nairobi — The Government has defended the dismissal of a scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), saying there is no excuse for delaying transmission of COVID-19 results in good time.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said the decision to dismiss Dr. Joel Lutomiah was meant to streamline and improve the coordination between the Ministry and KEMRI.

"It is our role to ensure that we coordinate (the transmission of results) properly," he said, adding that "the other issues are administrative within Kemri."

It is under the leadership of Dr Lutomiah that the institution has tested more than 6,000 people for the coronavirus disease- whose infection in the country rose to 355 on April 26 after 12 new cases were confirmed.

Lutomiah was in charge of KEMRI's rapid response unit, which oversees its laboratories and was the man tasked with briefing the Ministry of Health, until his dismissal.

On Sunday, Dr Aman said that 8 more patients had recovered from coronavirus raising the total number of people discharged from hospital to 106.

He attributed the high rate of recoveries in the country to hard work and efficiency by health care workers

With the threat of disease spreading further still imminent, the government has asked Kenyans to continue observing all the precautionary measures laid out by the government and the World Health Organisation.

The disease has claimed more than 200,000 people across the world, with 2.9 million infections.

In Kenya the death toll stood at 14 people by April 26.

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