Scores of lawmakers and parliamentary staff have tested positive for Covid-19 Omicron variant after returning from a sports event in neighbouring Tanzania, it has emerged.

Sources within the Parliamentary Service Commission, who sought anonymity because they are not authorised to discuss health status of their colleagues put the number of MPs who have tested positive for the fast-spreading variant at 18.

According to the highly-placed sources, also affected are 41 parliamentary staff, who accompanied the lawmakers to the East African parliamentary games in Arusha.

In a press statement yesterday, National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai said his office was aware that the current surge in Covid cases had occasioned the routine random testing of members and staff.

Sialai noted that as a result of the testing, a “small number” of members and staff had returned positive results.

“Affected members and staff have since been advised to isolate and follow relevant Covid protocols as guided by MoH,” he said.

He added: “Our medical team is conducting follow ups to ensure compliance and offer any necessary help to the affected members and staff.”

Sialai assured the public that all necessary precautions are being taken to comply with Ministry of Health guidelines and Covid-19 protocols within the precints of Parliament.

Cheering squad leader

“I know eight out of 10 of my colleagues who travelled to Arusha have tested positive but nothing to worry about,” Nominated Senator David Sankok, who travelled as the cheering squad leader, told People Daily yesterday.

“No hospitalisation case has been registered yet. However, a majority of us are safe; as you can see this afternoon, we had over 150 MPs in the House,” said Sankok, adding that all legislators and staff tested for Covid-19 in the small dining hall of Parliament on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear the size of the Kenyan delegation to the Arusha games that took place between December 4 and 17.

The national Parliaments of Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, and the East African Legislative Assembly competed in eight sports disciplines including football, netball, volleyball, tug of war, golf, basketball, and darts.

Similar infections were reported in neighbouring Uganda, where about 50 MPs and staff tested positive for the variant.

By People Daily

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