Covid-19 donations by Jack Ma stolen

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is looking into two separate theft reports relating to donated Covid-19 equipment in March, when the Ministry of Health was plotting how to combat the virus that has now infected 4,374 people in Kenya.

While the police at Mazingira House hav confirmed that investigations into the tw incidents involving donations from Alibaba founder Jack Ma and the Chines government, officials remain tight-lippe about how much progress has been mad.

Director of Investigations John Kariuki confirmed that a team of detectives from the DCI’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) office are looking into the cases.

“Those are being handled by the JKIA office, but I’m not aware of how far investigations have gone,” Mr Kariuki said.

But when the Saturday Nation visited the DCI branch at JKIA, officers denied knowledge of any such investigations an referred our team to the head office on Kiambu Road for any information on the matter.

The reaction of officers at the JKIA branc indicates that details of the investigation remain a reserve of very few senior officials at the DCI.

Director of Criminal Investigations Georg Kinoti did not pick up our numerous call or respond to text messages requesting information on the progress of the investigations by press time.

The first consignment was donated by M Ma, who had made a similar philanthropic gesture in other African countries.

Mr Ma’s care package had 100,000 face masks and 20,000 testing kits, which arrived at JKIA on March 24.

As the huge consignment of test kits disappears, the government is keeping over 5,000 samples that are yet to be tested due to the global shortage of testin materials.

On Friday, Health Director-General Patrick Amoth acknowledged that the country has been experiencing a shortag of test kits. But he said the ministry had received a batch that would last the country four weeks.

“It is always dangerous to have a backlo because if a sample tests positive and th person was roaming for weeks without knowing their results, the risk of transmission is high, hence a tedious process in reaching all the contact persons,” Dr Amoth said.

Healthcare workers, on the other hand, have been complaining that they do not have enough personal protective equipment, a situation that is putting their lives at risk.

This matter prompts the question: Did this equipment genuinely disappear at t airport or was it an inside job by well-connected people? The Saturday Nation i yet to get an answer to the questions.

Since April, the alleged theft of Mr Ma’s donations has been discussed in hushed tones, with rumours flying high on socia media.

But last week Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe for the first time publicly acknowledged that thieves had found their way to Mr Ma’s consignment.

The second donation, from the Chinese government, arrived on April 20 at the same aerodrome.

A local newspaper earlier this week detailed how Ministry of Health officials allegedly colluded with local and Chines businessmen to steal the consignment, revealing that some of the suspected con managed to escape arrest last week.

Meanwhile, two Covid-19 cases have bee confirmed in Kericho County while 12 people who had come into contact with them have been placed under quarantin
The father and daughter who tested positive have been placed under quarantine at Kericho County Referral Hospital.

This brings to three the number of positive cases in Kericho County.

Governor Paul Chepkwony, at a press briefing in his office on Friday evening, said the two had visited a patient in hospital.

“The two who were confirmed positive had visited a relative at Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu where a relative who has also tested positive is being treated.”

The 12 people who came into contact wit the two cases are being quarantined at the Kenya Medical Training College campus in Kapkatet.

Prof Chepkwony said medical officers who had come into contact with the two had also undergone counselling.

“The county government and multinational tea companies in the regio have set aside 2,000 quarantine beds an 300 isolation beds for Covid-19 cases.”

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