MPs asked to return allowance after New York trip cancelled over coronavirus


MPs asked to return allowance after New York trip cancelled over coronavirus
File image of the National Assembly during a past session. PHOTO| COURTESY

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has cancelled a trip for Members of Parliament who were set to attend a United Nations meeting on gender equality in New York, due to coronavirus fears.

The parliamentarians who were to attend the meeting were further directed to refund the per diem they had already received ahead of the trip.

The two-week annual event meant to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women is usually attended by thousands of people from around the world.

Meanwhile, the Commission on the Status of Women has also scaled back the meeting to a one-day event due the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Acting upon recommendations by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the commission said there would be no general debate and dozens of side events would be canceled.It said a full meeting of the commission would be held at a later date.

In a letter on Friday to U.N. member states from the chair of the commission, Armenia’s U.N. Ambassador Mher Margaryan, said Guterres had “also strongly recommended that capital-based representatives refrain from traveling to headquarters.”

The flu-like virus that emerged from central China late last year has spread to about 60 countries, infected more than 85,000 people and killed almost 3,000, mostly in China. So far, 10 U.S. states including California and New York have confirmed or presumed coronavirus cases.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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