The Nairobi County Assembly has suspended physical meetings as COVID cases in the premises continue to rise.
The over 150 staff of the Capital County Assembly will begin working from home, with all physical meetings in the assembly banned.
According to Assembly Speaker, Benson Mutura, only essential workers would be allowed to access the premises.
In his speech, Mutura drew to the broader surge of cases across the country, declaring that the second wave was sparing no one.
“According to the recent statistics from the Ministry of Health, the second wave of the pandemic is proving to be lethal. As an assembly, we have also not been spared, and both our staff and members have been affected,” Mutura said.
Thus, he suspended all physical meeting in the assembly. Therefore, from next week, all committee meetings and plenary sessions will be held via video calls. However, from Friday (tomorrow), Members and other staff will need a COVID-19 free certificate to access the House.
Only the Assembly leadership would have access to the premises during the suspension, Mutura said.
Former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker, Beatrice Elachi had partly suspended physical meeting in June this year. However, the MCAs had been meeting physically for much of the period.
This reason could be why the Assembly has seen a surge in cases. The County Assembly has seen over 20 infections, leading to MCAs calling for full closure of the assembly.
Concern about surging cases
On the 10th of this month, members mulled suspending physical meetings. Majority Leader, Abdi Guyo called for the closure of the Assembly to avoid further spread of the virus.
However, House Speaker, Benson Mutura, was not down with the idea. Mutura said that closing down the assembly would not solve the issue. Instead, he asked for the MCAs and staff to follow the MoH guidelines.
He also proposed reduction of human traffic, rather than full closure of the assembly.
Nairobi joins Mombasa, Nakuru and Homa Bay in suspending physical County Assembly meetings due to COVID-19.