‘I’m sorry, please forgive me,’ says Kilifi Deputy Governor on coronavirus spread

'I'm sorry, please forgive me,' says Kilifi Deputy Governor on coronavirus spread
File image of Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi. PHOTO| COURTESY

Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi now says that he is remorseful for the pain he has brought upon residents of Kilifi County for causing a chain of infection for the coronavirus.

Admitting responsibility for the spread of COVID-19 in Kilifi, the deputy governor, who quarantine at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, is urging members of public to forgive him, saying “I did not do this on purpose.”

“I am very remorseful for bringing anxiety on coronavirus spread in Kilifi County and the entire country, and hope that people will find a heart to forgive me,” the deputy governor said in an interview with the Nation newspaper.

“I am a responsible person. I am a leader, a family man and a mentor to many. I did not do this on purpose,” he added.

The Kilifi Deputy Governor says that after returning from Germany, he proceeded for check-up at Mombasa Hospital and was admitted at the facility for three days before doctors cleared him to go home.

He adds that upon being discharged he self isolated himself for three more days before embarking on his normal duties, which saw him interact with county staff including Governor Amason Kingi and attending funerals and other public functions.

Saburi claims that by the time he was returning to the country on March 6, Germany had not been marked as a coronavirus hotspot.

“I attended funerals to condole with bereaved families and other gatherings in my rural home in Rabai, bearing in mind the nature of my job and position in society,” he said.

On why he flew to Germany despite cancellation of the official event he was supposed to attend, Saburi claims he was informed of the cancellation while at the airport  yet he had already booked a hotel room and air ticket.

The deputy governor said he went to Germany to meet with other tourism stakeholders, adding that instead of 10 days as earlier planned, he stayed in Germany for three days.

So far, six people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Kilifi County, with the chain of infection having originated from the deputy governor.

As of Friday, March 28 medical teams in the country had identified 1,067 individuals believed to be close contacts of the 31 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Out of the 1,067, some 136 patients had been discharged after completing the 14 day mandatory follow up period.

“We are now remaining with 931 close contacts that our contact tracing teams are monitoring,” said Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

Of the 31 confirmed cases, Nairobi is leading with 21 cases, followed by Kilifi at six,  Mombasa at two, with Kajiado and Kwale County having one case each.

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