Raila’s Kisumu visit draws crowds amid surging Covid-19 infections

Raila inspects newly constructed Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu

What you need to know:

  • Mr Odinga’s meet-the-people tour, which attracted huge crowds came just months after he recovered from a Covid-19 infection that saw him hospitalised.

Kisumu residents threw caution to the wind to welcome Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga to the county on Monday.

Mr Odinga addressed large crowds at various stopovers as he inspected development projects that will be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He toured the main Bus Park, Kondele and Mamboleo, where he explained the importance of development projects coming to Kisumu ahead of Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, which will be graced by President Kenyatta.

The visit, as well as his addresses to the public, came despite a surge in Covid-19 infections in the lakeside county over the past few weeks, which health officials blame on residents’ failure to comply with containment measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and hand-washing.

I took herbs and steamed when I had Covid-19: Raila

Huge crowds

Mr Odinga’s meet-the-people tour, which attracted huge crowds, also came just months after he recovered from a Covid-19 infection that saw him hospitalised and placed on oxygen support at some point.

During Monday’s visit, the ODM leader told Kisumu residents that he had it rough when he was sick but that he battled with the disease gallantly and recovered.

“The other day Satan came in the name of Covid-19 but I faced it and fought it. You can now see that I am well, happy and healthy. You are the first people I am visiting because Kisumu is home,” he said.

Madaraka Day

Kisumu is planning to host Madaraka Day celebrations despite a spike in Covid-19 cases

The event will be held at the newly built Jomo Kenyatta Stadium, with attendance restricted to 3,000 people in the facility with a capacity for 35,000.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho indicated last week, on his tour og the stadium, that provisions had been made for another 10,000 people to follow the proceedings live on screens mounted at Kirembe grounds, and another 10,000 at Prophet Owuor grounds.

On Monday, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said additional provisions had been made for residents to follow the proceedings live from Mowlem grounds.

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