Senate suspends physical meetings as Covid-19 hits parliament

Decision comes after Kenya recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 fatalities

File image of Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka leaving the House

All physical committee meetings in the Kenyan Senate have been suspended amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka divulged that the move was informed by rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, with legislators and staffers expressing fears on contracting the virus.

The speaker was quoted by the Standard confirming that “We had a liaison committee meeting, which has all the chairpersons of committees, and agreed that all meetings should be held virtually”.

The suspension of physical meetings will run for one month with Senators in various committees transacting business virtually.

The development comes barely a few days after the National Assembly moved in to partially lock down and significantly scale down its activities amid reports that the virus had found its way to the parliament.

In a recent letter, the Council of governors also added its voice to the debate, urging the Senate to transition to virtual meetings to avoid exposing them to the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

“We call upon the Speaker of the Senate to emulate the National Assembly, which has since dispensed with physical appearance.

“I urge all the governors to appear virtually as their health comes first,” said CoG chairman and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

According to the latest update by the government on the Coronavirus situation in the country given on 01 Aug 2020, the total caseload in the country stands at 21363.

8418 people have since recovered while 364 have succumbed to the virus.

The highest fatality was recorded yesterday (01 August 2020) when 23 lives were lost within 24 hours.

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