Governor of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Mike Sonko has sparked controversy after announcing to include alcohol in the food packs meant for poor families as relief during the Covid-19 epidemic.
According to the governor, small bottles of popular alcohol brands, Hennessey will be distributed as part of food packs for poor families who are missing work because of coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Mike Sonko announced at a media briefing yesterday, and has been trending on various social media for saying he had "small bottles of Hennessy in the food packs that we will be giving to our people".
"From the research which has been conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and various health organizations it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus," he added.
Local station, Citizen TV tweeted footage of the governor making the remarks and in less than an hour, millions of Africans around the world have shared and commented on the issue across the world. The video of the governor making the remarks trended on popular social media platforms with internet users all sharing their opinion on the governor’s remarks.
Citizen TV Kenya @citizentvkenya shared the video on twitter with the caption:
“We will have some small bottles of Hennessy in the food packs that we will be giving to our people…” - Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko
They, however, went on to add that:
“Note: WHO warns that drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.”
Interestingly, according to reports, Gov. Mike Sonko was barred from accessing his office after a court placed the ban on him in December 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in February took over his duties in key sectors after a court barred the governor from accessing his office in December 2019 over the loss of 357m Kenyans shillings ($3.3m, £2.6m). The national government now manages the provision of health, transport and public works in the city.
He also faces allegations relating to drug trafficking and money laundering, which he denies; and prison authorities have accused him of escaping from a maximum facility 20 years ago, but the government denies any wrongdoing.
Many Kenyans on social media have been mocking the governor for the remarks.
Speaking on his decision to include alcohol in the food packs, Gov. Sonko was quoted as saying:
“From the research which has been conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and various health organizations, it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus.”
The claim is somewhat untrue however as there is no professional backing to the myth that alcohol protects people from contracting the Coronavirus, and many critics have accused of giving false information while quoting research by WHO which is non-existent.
Kenya coronavirus statistics as of April 14 had reached 216 confirmed cases with 41 recoveries and nine deaths according to the Ministry of Health.
In the last 24 hours, Kenya tested 694 samples. Out of these samples, 8 tested positive for coronavirus disease, CAS Dr. Mwangangi confirmed. Six cases were picked from mandatory quarantine centers while 2 were picked by the Ministry’s surveillance teams.
Kenya currently records 225 cases and 10 deaths relating to Covid-19.
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