Sabina Chege encounters ‘rude’ call attendant in coronavirus test – VIDEO
The joint parliamentary committee on Health was on Wednesday shocked when its chairperson could not get through to the coronavirus call centre after calling the toll free number that has been shared with members of the public.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, who is the Parliamentary and Senate Health Committee chair, called the number set up by the Ministry of Health pretending to have coronavirus-like symptoms and wanted assistance. She made the call in the presence of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and senior ministry officials.
Ms Chege sought to find out what advice she would get from the Health Ministry and how prepared the country was in the case of an outbreak.
However, the toll-free line 0800 721 316, did not go through. The Health CS told her that the line was at the trial stage, hence the lack of connection.
She, thereafter, called another non-toll-free line shared by the Ministry, and the receiver took his time to pick up the call.
After he finally picked, the receiver, who goes by the name Joshua Njoroge gave unsatisfactory answers.
“Hello, how are you? I wanted to report a case of coronavirus. I feel like I have the symptoms, what am I supposed to do?” Ms Chege, who did not reveal her real identity asked the attendant.
The attendant responded stating; “You sound sick…We have no cases of coronavirus unless you tell us how you could have acquired it. However, you can go to a nearby hospital and get checked.”
She said she had just returned from a trip to China, the epicentre of the deadly virus.
Nearby health centre
The attendant later told her to hop onto a motorbike to get to a nearby health centre and when she said she did not have the fare, he asked her how she had made the China trip.
MPs and senators, who are members of the joint committee on Health, were left shocked by the receiver’s responses.
Mr Kagwe called upon Kenyans to take coronavirus with the seriousness it deserves.
“We are Kenyans and this is reality, this is what we are up against. Let’s be honest and let us not bury our heads in the ground like the proverbial ostrich,” he said.
“This is a real thing and this is what we are to grapple with and not just as a Ministry but as a country. It is actually true that self-quarantine is what we have to do.”
The joint committee was keen to ascertain if the Government has put in place measures to combat coronavirus should it be reported in the country.
“I admit that our representatives receiving calls from members of the public need to be trained on effective communication with the masses,” said the CS.