The Governor of Nairobi is sending coronavirus care packages filled with Hennessy cognac to the poor because he claims WHO advice says ‘alcohol kills the virus.’
Mike Sonko, wearing an ostentatious visor, said the parcels would contain miniatures of fine brandy at a typically flamboyant news conference from the Kenyan capital on Tuesday.
‘We will be giving some small bottles of Hennessy in the food package which we give to our people,’ Sonko decreed. ‘I think from the research conducted by the World Health Organization and various health organisations it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus.’
Sonko, who has been relieved of his duties pending a £2.7 million corruption trial, has been slammed by medical experts who said drinking alcohol is, in fact, detrimental to the immune system.
Although the WHO do recommend the use of alcohol-based hand rubs to kill viruses, Hennessy – an 80 proof spirit – is not powerful enough to be applied in this way.
The African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) CEO Githinji Gitahi today rejected Sonko’s cognac offering.
He tweeted: ‘Please completely ignore clowning of a major global pandemic taking lives and putting extreme pressure on households.
‘Dump this the way you would dump your used COVID-19 mask-never to be recovered.’
Gitahi also urged Kenya’s Ministry of Health to condemn Sonko’s comments in the strongest terms.
In addition to Sonko’s prescription of two ounce cognac miniatures worth £4 each, the care packages include genuine hand sanitizer, maize, nappies, cleaning products and other household basics.
Although Kenya has only recorded 225 cases of coronavirus, including ten deaths, the disastrous impact it is having on the global markets is battering poorer country’s the hardest, leading to hunger and desperation.
On Saturday, the government banned unofficial direct distribution of food donations after a stampede at the Kibra District Office during a handout which left dozens injured the day before.
But Sonko has continued to proudly display his donations on his Twitter feed and has urged the government to overturn their decision.
He says that his NGO, the Sonko Rescue Team, has years of experience in such work in the community and ought to be allowed to continue.