Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli has appealed the government not to enforce lockdown over Coronavirus.
Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 18, the COTU SG said the current situation could be contained, and therefore lockdown is not necessary.
Atwoli stated that most people were working temporarily, and imposing a total lockdown would affect their livelihoods.
“There are people who do casual jobs or are on contracts. We do not want them to lose their daily bread simply because we are dramatizing the whole coronavirus thing,” Atwoli said.
He applauded those employers who have adopted the government directives put in place to control the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Atwoli also warned those who might use the current situation to sack their staff that the union was watching them, saying it would be wrong for the employers to close their businesses or sack workers without the knowledge of trade unions.
The COTU boss urged workers who could report to work to do so adding as much as the union supported the initiative taken by the government, Kenyans who are in a position to report to their places of work should continue doing so.
Atwoli affirmed that COTU had taken time to issue the statement since it had been assessing the rate of virus infection. He further stated that officials of his organization had been evaluating the pandemic to past cases to measure its effects on a global scale.
“We have had outbreaks of malaria, tuberculosis, and diseases like bird flu and Ebola in West Africa, which were properly controlled and dealt with,” he said.
Atwoli said that we should not dramatize the effects of the disease since the medics were up to the task.On Wednesday, Health Cabinet Secretary announced that three other cases had been confirmed, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases to seven in the country.