Fri. Jun 5th, 2020

No way to Forceful Testing, SUPKEM tells Gov’t

Sheikh Muhdhar Khithamy. Image: File

By MASEKE PETER

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) has faulted the government’s move of forcing people to mass saying majority have shunned the exercise due to stigmatization.

SUPKEM suggested that the government should device new ways including  conducting Civic  education on the consequences of COVID-19.

Addressing the media at Makadara grounds Muhdar Khitamy who’s the council’s  national deputy chair claimed that once a person is tested he is shunned by the community he lives in.

“Not that our people are not interested in the testing exercise, they fear how the rest of the community would look at them afterward.”said Khitamy.

The cleric added that the residents were also against being taken to qarantine centers which he alleged that  they were now acting like prisons where innocent people are being arrested and locked up.

“Quarantine centers are like prison centers. Those found without masks  and those flouting government’s directive on curfews are arrested and detained there and which are in deplorable state.” He lamented.

A Kenyan in a quarantine facility seeking for help. Religious leaders are recommending for a home based quarantine. Image: (Courtesy)

The religious leader observed  many people were suffering from various ailments and the kind of treatment they receive in the places only worsen the conditions.

Khitamy said that, home based quarantine is the best way for it has worked in other countries like America and Europe and this need to be replicated in the old Town part of Mombasa.

The chairman asked the government to lock those found positive in their homes and put a mark at their home doors and deploy police to man them so that they do not go out and spread the disease.

“We have enough police officers, chiefs and local administration that can be deployed to man the homes of those found positive of the disease,”  he claimed.

Meanwhile Abu Qatada who is the secretary at Ibrahim Mosque asked the residents to come out in large numbers for mass testing saying this was for the benefit of their families.

Qatada cited a case in Tanzania where hundreds have been infected with the virus which is now threatening to sweep the lives of thousands.

“It takes a few seconds to be tested and the government was kind enough to bring health officers at out doorsteps and why not take advantage of the same. He said.

The secretary confirmed supkem’s sentiments on stigmatization saying  that was the main reason why the Kibokoni people were refusing to be tested.

“They also feared the way wananchi were being handled once a family member was found positive, the entire family members are rounded up and taken to quarantine.” Pointed out Qatada.

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