Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi has for the first time attended an official public event after recovering from Covid-19 and issued a message of hope to residents in fight against the spread of the virus.
The county chief, who is facing charges over alleged failure to self-quarantine after a trip from Germany, lauded government efforts in containing infections in Kilifi County.
This follows the declaration of the county as Covid-19 free by Governor Amason Kingi in wake of recovery and discharging of the last six patients in their isolation facilities.
Speaking during the official opening of maternity and theater wings at Bamba Health Center in Ganze Constituency, where he was accompanied by Governor Kingi, he also called on residents to adhere to the guidelines and regulations sent by the government in the fight against Covid-19.
“I am going to support the fight against the spread of the virus to ensure the county remains Covid-19 free. Today I shall not speak much but I am back to business and in case the governor shall assign me duties as usual, I will oblige,” he said.
Mr Saburi is still fighting charges of exposing people to Covid-19 after he allegedly failed to quarantine himself as per directive following his return from Germany on March 6, where he was in an official duty.
Earlier, Mr Kingi said that he is now relieved after his deputy resumed work and that he might take a leave after working tirelessly to stop the spread of the virus.
“As you know, Kilifi was the first county in Coast region to report a case of Covid-19. This caused panic among residents and the county government had to move swift to control the spread of the virus,” he said.
However, he complained that the biggest challenge the Covid-19 patients are facing today is stigmatization which has also made people shun seeking medical services.
“We have seen our neighbours in Mombasa shunning away from Covid-19 tests due to stigmatization,” he said adding that “people need to shelve off this stereotype and notion that Covid-19 patients usually die, so far over 200 people have recovered and are back in their homes.”
Mr Kingi said that stigmatization of those who have contracted Covid-19 has greatly affected the number of mothers seeking medical services, postnatal care and vaccination for their children.
“That is why we have opened an ultramodern Covid-19 medical complex with 150 bed capacity to treat patients in Kilifi to shelve off the stereotype since Covid-19 patients need to be treated like humans,” said.
Mr Kingi said the ultramodern medical complex together with other six Covid-19 isolations centers at St Peter’s health center in Malindi, Gede, Mbudzi, Jibana and Mtwapa are aimed at caring Covid-19 patients with dignity.