At least 17 Kenyan MPs and several parliamentary staff have tested positive for coronavirus, according to reports.
The MPs were diagnosed with Covid-19 after taking voluntary coronavirus tests last week, The Star and K24 Digital report.
An MP who spoke to The Star but declined to be named said this was the reason why Senate and National Assembly sittings that had been scheduled for this week were canceled on Monday.
“They are suspecting 17 Members of Parliament have been tested and turned positive. The information is not clear but it's members and staff. So that is the reason why the House was suspended,” the MP said.
Last week, Daily Nation reported that parliament had submitted to the Health Ministry a list of 38 MPs and about 15 parliamentary staff for Covid-19 testing.
This was after the MPs, who are members of two House Committees, allegedly came into contact with Rabai MP Kamoti Mwamkale, who later tested positive for the illness.
Mwamkale, who is believed to have contracted the virus from Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, interacted with his colleagues during committee sessions last month.
In an interview with The Star on Tuesday, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka did not confirm or deny that 17 MPs had contracted Covid-19.
“You know testing was voluntary and very confidential, the doctors give results to individual members even for the testing,” Lusaka said
“I can only talk of myself because I did the testing here together with my family and security. I know my results, that I am negative but for the rest of the members, they have been given results individually.”
“The only person who would know the status of who was tested is the individual and Ministry of Health. I cannot speculate or say it has happened,” he added.
He, however, denied claims that House sittings were called off after the MPs received positive Covid-19 results and clarified that the cancellation was due to President Uhuru’s ban on movement of people in and out of Nairobi metropolitan area to contain the spread of the virus.